NBC News Taps Facebook’s Keyword Insights API To Examine Use Of #DearCongress Hashtag

By David Cohen 


NBC News used Facebook’s recently introduced keyword insights application-programming interface to examine the use of the #DearCongress hashtag it launched Tuesday in the wake of the government shutdown, and it found that women were talking about the event nearly three times more than men were (74 percent to 26 percent).

Other findings by NBC News, based on mentions on Facebook and Twitter, included:

  • Government employees, paychecks, and Obamacare were the most-mentioned topics.
  • Paycheck was used in two ways — expressing concern over whether government workers were getting paid, and annoyance at the fact that members of Congress were still getting paid.
  • Mentions of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) edged mentions of President Barack Obama.
  • Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) were mentioned less frequently, but the terms “Republican” and “GOP” combined were used 2.75 times more than “Democrat.”
  • “Vote” was highly mentioned on Twitter, with users of that social network indicating that they would punish the responsible lawmakers in the next elections.
  • Suggestions for lawmakers included “compromise,” “do your job,” and “serve the people,” and admonishments included “you’re fired” and “shame.”
  • The most mentions of the #DearCongress hashtag on Facebook and Twitter by state were from Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia.

Readers: Did you post about the government shutdown on Facebook or Twitter?