One of the best things about social media is its ease of use and speed; it’s quick and easy for anyone to create an account, including Big Bird, Binders Full of Women, Jeremy and Invisible Obama. Tumblr, Facebook (News - Alert), Twitter and Reddit are all homes to many parody accounts and memes as the election reaches the Nov. 6 election date. With the presidential elections comes a social media feed overload of our peers’ opinions, feedback and jokes, and the presidential debates are no exception, responsible for at least five Twitter (News - Alert) parody accounts.
Twitter is also dominating this election by more than just creating parody accounts. There were 360,000 total tweets during the two conventions in 2008. The total for both in 2012 was nearly 14 million. Mitt Romney's speech peaked at 14,000 tweets per minute (tpm). Michelle Obama in her convention speech doubled that to 28,000 – and Barack Obama then took it up to 54,000 tpm. The first presidential debate earlier this month smashed those records. There were a total of 10.3 million tweets, with the peak of 159,000 tpm for moderator Jim Lehrer's "Let's not" knockback of a Romney request. Obama's personal record was lifted to 153,000 tpm for his "I had five seconds left" counter to a Lehrer reminder on time limits. As of the halfway point in last night’s debate, Fox News reported there were more than 83,000 tweets per minute related to the debates.
Here are the top parody Twitter accounts we’ve seen so far from the 2012 presidential election.
- @PaulRyanGosling – 70,004 followers
A play off of the Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” meme, PaulRyanGosling is the political version. Tweets along the line of, “Hey girl, tonight’s debate will last for 2 hours. Which is approximately how long it takes me to run 3 marathons. #VPDebate” and “Hey girl, who needs Obamacare when you got Ryan lovin’ care?”
- @ThePresObama – 69,984 followers
His Twitter bio says it all: “The 44th President of The United States of America. The most famous black man alive. Follow the Leader. NOT @barackobama. That account is run by unfunny peeps.”
- @Invisible Obama – 68,866 followers
Invisible Obama started during the Republican National Convention because of Clint Eastwood’s speech to an empty chair.
- @BIGBIRD – 33,117 followers
This account sprung up in the Twitterverse after Mitt Romney declared in the first presidential debate, “I love Big Bird,” despite promising to cut funding to PBS.
- @RomneyBinders – 33,189 followers
Fresh off the debate, this account was created last night after Mitt Romney’s answer to the question about women’s equal pay rights. Though the follower count may not be as high as other campaign parody accounts, “binders full of women” was the third most searched term on Google (News - Alert) for the debate and also has a Tumblr account and a Facebook page with more than 200,000 likes.
In case you missed it, here is Romney’s remark from the debate that set off these accounts:
“And – and so we – we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women. I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America.”
Other accounts that have stemmed from the presidential campaign so far include @JoblessJeremy, @SilentJimLehrer, @VeepJoeBiden, @MittRmoney (Romney Hood) and @SrWHOfficial.
To get an overview of election highlights and their corresponding memes and social media response, click here.
Edited by Rich Steeves