@HLNtv Video: Traffic lower, comedy funnier for VP debate on the web

There was more social media traffic around the first presidential debate between former Governor Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama than there was around the vice-presidential debate. But while the quantity may have been lower, the quality of the humor (Big Bird not withstanding) appears to be higher surrounding Rep. Paul Ryan and Vice President Joe Biden.

The social media reaction to this debate wasn’t quite as big as the last one. Only 3.5 million tweets went out during the VP debate, compared to 10.5 million for the presidential one last week.

Over on Google, search terms around Joe Biden included ‘laughing’ and ‘malarkey.’ The latter was a term Biden used to describe the answer Rep. Ryan gave to a question about the Libyan embassy crisis.

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Who won the debate? Romney? Obama? Big Bird?

With media outlets showing live tweets on-screen during the debates last night, the social media response to the event was huge. While the issues were discussed and tempers flared, the biggest reaction online wasn’t about either candidate. It was about Big Bird.

That’s right, Big Bird, the eight-foot tall avian star of the hit PBS show “Sesame Street.” When Mitt Romney was asked how he would trim the deficit, Romney threatened to shut down PBS, while apologizing to Big Bird. According to Twitter, the reaction was immediate — Big Bird was being mentioned at the astonishing rate of 17,000 tweets per minute.

An unofficial @FiredBigBird Twitter account quickly sprang up, and accumulated 25,000 followers before Twitter shut it down today. On Facebook, which just announced that they’ve hit a staggering one billion users, Big Bird’s fans were up in arms as well. A Facebook page, Big Bird for President, has already accumulated more than 7,000 likes.

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