Social media renders rapid judgment on debate

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Sesame Street character Big Bird

Sesame Street character Big Bird (AP photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) – If social media is any indication, Mitt Romney may have been the clear winner of last night’s debate in Denver.

Twitter says the debate was the most tweeted-about event in U.S. political history. And according to a web analytics firm, there were about 47,000 tweets mentioning Romney and the word “win” or “winner” — and fewer than 30,000 that mentioned Obama with “win” or “winner.”

The reaction to statements by the two candidates was flowing across Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets long before the debate was over.

And people were also looking to the Internet to shed some light on some of the subjects being discussed. Google says the most commonly searched terms included Simpson-Bowles, the bipartisan fiscal commission Obama appointed, as well as Dodd-Frank, a financial reform law.

And there were a lot of searches for Big Bird. Early in the debate, Romney said he would cut off funding to public broadcasting to help bring down the deficit — but he added that he liked Big Bird.

Social networks immediately responded, with people posting spoof photos of Big Bird and other Sesame Street characters on Facebook, and even setting up fake Big Bird Twitter accounts.

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