An online prank on teen singing idol Justin Bieber accounted for the most shared news links by bloggers, while Twitter nation focused on the rejection by the British Broadcasting Corp.’s governing body of plans to close digital radio station 6 Music, and the most-shared news and politics video on YouTube was CNN’s Anderson Cooper criticizing a new government rule limiting media access to the Gulf of Mexico BP oil-spill cleanup, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index for the week of July 5-9.
Stories about the viral campaign that targeted Bieber and pop-culture Web site Faxo.com, which was attempting to poll users on where he should perform next, generating nearly 500,000 votes to send the pop star to North Korea, accounted for 19 percent of news links shared via blogs. It was followed by three stories at 11 percent apiece — a Los Angeles Times report foreshadowing a fight between the White House and Supreme Court on issues including health care reform and financial-sector regulation; the Justice Department’s lawsuit over Arizona’s new immigration law; and a BBC report about the first full-sky image from Europe’s Planck telescope — and a Washington Post report on Democrats aggressively digging up “unflattering” details about Republican candidates in the midterm election, at 10 percent.
The staying of 6 Music’s execution accounted for 11 percent of Tweeted news links, and it was followed by three stories at 7 percent each — a ruling by Massachusetts judge Joseph Tauro that the federal law banning gay marriage is unconstitutional; the Bieber prank; and a BBC story about two Internet-service providers challenging Britain’s Digital Economy Act — and an msnbc.com story about a Swiss-led experimental solar plane that completed its first-ever 24-hour test flight, at 6 percent.
Cooper’s cry for more Gulf of Mexico access was followed on the list of shared news and politics YouTube videos by: a Dutch police officer kneeing a cyclist in the stomach during an arrest; Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan declining to answer a question about the limits of the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution; a Polish presidential campaign ad depicting late President Lech Kaczynski; and a first-person video from a US Airways flight that was forced to turn back due to maggot infestation.