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Social media explosion in US election

Monday November 12, 2012 09:42:40 AM, RIA Novosti

Washington: Social media technologies made the US presidential election one of the most instantaneously shared and documented events in history with tweets, jokes and photos surging in real time through internet pathways around the world.

Micro-blogging portal Twitter lit up Tuesday within seconds of word from national broadcast media that President Barack Obama had been re-elected with innumerable tweets, including one from Obama - "This happened because of you. Thank you." - ranging in tone and content from the jubilant to the livid.

Twitter said it recorded more than 31 million election-related posts Tuesday, easily making the vote the most-tweeted political event in the site's six-year history. At one point, as election results were unfolding, users tweeted at a rate of 327,452 per minute.

A post made later in the evening to Obama's Twitter account showing the president hugging his wife, Michelle Obama, with a caption saying "Four more years," instantly became the most popular re-tweeted message of all time, with over 585,000 re-tweets, the service said.

The victory message was posted before Obama even took to the stage in Chicago to
give his acceptance speech, illustrating the central role his campaign gave to social media in the campaign.

Obama's opponents angry at his re-election also took to the social media universe with furious - and sometimes totally ludicrous - comments, including a colourful blast of invective from billionaire real-estate mogul Donald Trump.

"The electoral college is a disaster for democracy" Trump tweeted, followed shortly thereafter by: "This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!"

At one point he even called for a revolution because of the election result - a tweet the publicity-loving Trump deleted soon thereafter after some questioned its permissibility.

Photos and comments about the election also abounded on Facebook and Instagram, including pictures of voters waiting in long lines at the polls - a serious blemish on Tuesday's election - and several pictures of students at the University of Mississippi burning an Obama campaign sign.

There were also many upbeat and hilarious posts on major social media sites including one from Jamie M. Blanchard who posted on Twitter: "I'm so excited about Barack Obama's reelection I nearly jumped out of my binder."

She was referring to a comment made recently by Obama's main rival, Mitt Romney, who said he was given "binders of women" to consider for filling jobs in his administration when he served as governor of the state of Massachussetts.




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