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Online forums, chat rooms and social media channels flooded with trash talk, profanity, spam

REDWOOD CITY, CA, October 23, 2012 – An analysis of social media discussions during the final Presidential Debate tonight shows that channels are dominated by insulting, profane comments about both candidates. Conducted by Impermium, the leader in user-generated content protection for websites and social media destinations, the analysis demonstrated that a small number of very vocal posters are dominating conversations about the debate.

“Time and again we’ve seen that social media is not playing the role it could be in generating intellectual conversation and an informed electorate,” said Mark Risher, CEO of Impermium. “A disproportionately large portion of commentary on social media channels in regards to tonight’s debate was hostile and insulting. With over 7% of commentary being categorized as some form of profanity, “astroturfing” or spam, practically all intelligent debate on social media was unfortunately laced with abuse.”

In order to generate this analysis, data was pulled from social media channels, chat rooms, forums, and comments from across the more than 300,000 websites that Impermium protects.

Key findings from this real-time analysis showed:

  • Comments slurring Obama exceeded those against Romney by 3 times 
  • The top themes provoking profanity on social media were: China, oil, jobs, military and Iran 
  • Comments mentioning the candidates were up 21% when compared to the same time period last week.


Analysis of battleground states:

  • Abusive comments hurled from the battleground states of Florida, Virginia, Nevada was on the average 100% more than abuse hurled from Wisconsin, Colorado, Indiana 
  • 50% increase in negativity about Obama during this debate compared to the second debate 
  • 200% increase in negativity about Romney during this debate compared to the second debate 
  • 22% increase in insulting comments during this debate vs. the debate last week 
  • Top Derogatory Nicknames: Obama, Romney, Odumbo, Mittens, Nobama, Robme, Obummer, Mitt the Twit, Odummy, Romnuts, Bammy, Myth Romney
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