Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


US debate fury echoes across social media

17 October 2012, 09:26

Washington - As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney traded barbs in their cantankerous second presidential debate even harsher volleys were being hurled online.

Obama's Truth Team and Romney Response were joined on Twitter by eager partisans on both sides, as live blogs rated the candidates' performance, checked facts and turned missteps into instant running gags.

To set the tone, both sides began preparing followers on the internet well ahead of the start of Tuesday's nationally televised debate.

Romney's team tweeted that Obama "hasn't just failed to control our mounting debt - he's accelerated it at an unprecedented pace".

Obama countered: "Don't be fooled: Americans on the street react to #RealRomney," and linked to a page in which citizens criticise Romney's proposals.

As the debate progressed, so did the intensity of the comments on Twitter.


"Romney is sounding like a dude selling reverse mortgages to old people on late night cable," one Obama supporter tweeted.

A Romney backer responded: "Basically Obama just said he fundamentally opposes capitalism."

On Facebook, one Obama supporter wrote that the president "is having a much much better debate tonight. He is back on his game. Mitt is rambling (about Libya), butchering the English language ('take someone bankrupt') and offending Hispanic voters (calling some of them 'illegals')."

But someone from the other side later tweeted: "Boom. Boom. Boom. Romney swings back crisply, ticking off unkept promises of Obama from deficits to immigration."

Each side cheered as its candidate scored points.

"Gobama!! Obama blowing Romney away with facts and arithmetic," one Twitter user wrote.

'Binders of women'

Another shot back: "Romney is owning this right now. Hands down."

One of Romney's comments set of a flurry, reminiscent of his "Big Bird" remarks, when he said he had "binders full of women" when he sought to fill key jobs as governor of Massachusetts.

"We took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet," Romney said.

"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."

A Facebook page "Binders Full of Women" quickly got 138 000 likes, and plenty of comments.

"[Governor] Romney clearly misspoke," one person wrote. "What he meant to say was that his platform wants to bind women to the 19th century."

7.2 million tweets

On Twitter, one message said, "On Nov 6th, Mitt Romney will find out just how many Binders of Women there are."

On Tumblr, some posted images of women in binders - some clad in bathing suits, others with caricatures of female politicians imprisoned in notebook binders.

Twitter counted 7.2 million tweets by the end of the debate, less than the 10.3 million in the first presidential face-off but ahead of the four million for the vice presidential debate.

Twitter said the conversation peaked at 109 560 tweets per minute when Romney was asked about immigration.

Twitter said debate-related mentions for Romney were 35%, to 25% for Obama.

The analytics website Social Bakers also counted tweets favouring the Republican.

In an hour-by-hour count, the site's "cheermeter" recorded 116 000 tweets favoring Romney to 94 000 for Obama and the Republican leading 111 000 to 101 000 in the second hour.

But the Obama campaign, in a paid message on Twitter using the hashtag #TeamBarack, hailed "a big win tonight because the President has the right plan to move us forward".



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Jayne Zack
I am in ODM to stay, Busia Depu...

Busia Deputy Governor Kizito Wangalwa told Deputy President William on the face that he was in the Orange Democratic Movement to stay. Read more...

Boda Boda operators in Bahati rai...

Motorbike Boda Boda operators from Bahati Sub county on Tuesday took to the streets of Nakuru’s CBD lamenting over what they term is harassment by patrol police officers in the area. Read more...

Submitted by
Gabriel Ngallah
Human Rights activist lives in fe...

The Human rights fraternity in Mombasa is currently living in fear after the home of one of the vocal human rights champion was invaded on Monday night. Read more...

Submitted by
kel wesh
Poisonous milk powder siezed by K...

The Kenya Revenue Authority has seized two containers with illegal milk powder which had been declared as gypsum board at Mombasa port. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be ready for protests, Raila warn...

Expect protests if meddling with Auditor General continues, Raila Odinga has said. Read more...

Submitted by
Kenya says will return to interna...

Kenya will return to international markets to borrow when it feels the time is right, National Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich said on Tuesday. Read more...