New Media Index: Twitter Users Focus on Twitter’s Role in Debt Ceiling Agreement

By David Cohen Comment

The Aug. 2 agreement to raise the debt ceiling for the United States was the subject of the most shared links via Twitter and blogs, but the Twitterverse took a different approach, focusing on the role that Twitter itself played in the process, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism’s New Media Index for the week of Aug. 1-5.

Twitter’s effect on the legislative compromise was followed on the list of most-tweeted news links by: general news about the debt ceiling agreement; Justin Bieber tour dates in Mexico and South America; a satirical article from The Onion, “Obama Turns 50 Despite Republican Opposition”; and Google, particularly its new social network, Google+, reaching 25 million users.

The most-viewed news and politics video on YouTube for the week was an English version of the Lithuanian-language video in which Vilnius Mayor Arturas Zuokas ran over illegally parked cars with a tank. It was followed by: President Barack Obama explaining the debt ceiling agreement; a slip of the tongue by reporter Kathleen Corso during a tease for a cat story; a clip of Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) discussing the debt ceiling on the Senate floor; and a video from Justice4Bosnia about a Huffington Post article written by activist Diana Jenkins about Bosnian humanitarian Jovan Divjak.

Turning to the blogosphere, the debt ceiling was followed on the list of most-shared news links by: challenges facing Android mobile software; a detailed description of the raid that killed Osama Bin Laden from The New Yorker; predictions about Apple’s upcoming launch of the iPhone 5; and Bieber again, but this time for playing pranks on fast-food restaurants, and candid pictures of the pop star shopping.