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No Debate About It: Presidential Debate Breaks Twitter Record

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) –It was the most tweeted about political event ever. Over 10 million tweets were exchanged during the presidential debate Wednesday.

“I think it’s easy to connect with politics or anything when you’re looking on your little hand held phone and on Twitter seeing what people are saying,” said Mary Ellen Lowney, Chair of the Communication Department at American International College. “And the more people you follow, the broader your information will be.”

Lowney said Twitter more than other social media is a good fit for live events. Taking just moments to send a short, quick message allows people to also watch the event if they would like.

But the information last night wasn’t always on topic. Take Mitt Romney’s comment about cutting funding for PBS.

“I like PBS; I love Big Bird!,” said Romney. “But I’m not going to keep on spending money on things to borrow money from China to pay for it.”

Twitter was inundated with comments, mostly humorous attacks, on Romney about Big Bird. Lowney said this irreverence may actually have been what it took to get people to pay serious attention.

“If you’re getting tweets from someone about the debate, maybe that will make you turn of the TV and watch it,” said Lowney.

Nearly 37 and a half million people ended up doing that between all the major networks.


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