Social media monitoring firm Social360 measured consumer reaction to and sharing of news about the federal government shutdown this week, finding little positive sentiment and a belief that Republicans are mostly to blame for the impasse. Some statistics below.
The top line:
Social360 found significant volume of mentions – 17,000 – with the terms “US,” “government,” and “shutdown” in the 24-hour period from Tuesday to Wednesday (see image below). Sentiment was 60% neutral, 38% negative, and just 2% positive.
What concerns consumers:
The Chinese government's unhappiness with the stalemate was a primary concern of social media users during the period. However, the firm noted that numerous consumers shared a Public Radio International story that found some Chinese social media users applauded the shutdown as a sign of a democratic government. Other users mentioned President Barack Obama's decision to delay his trip to Asia because of the crisis as an example of its effect on foreign relations.
A Political Wire piece reporting on an AP-GfK poll that found 62% of Americans are mostly blaming Republicans for the shutdown gained 34,000 Facebook likes. A post by GOP Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) that “Democrats are divided” on the shutdown earned 500 likes, while commentator Glenn Beck's view that Obama's actions are “the sign of a dictator” was tweeted 836 times and shared 139 times on Google+.
Many social media users are concerned about the effects of the shutdown on tourism. A piece on CNBC headlined “IMF: What a month-long shutdown could look like” was circulated widely.
Source: Social360, with a focus on the 24-hour period from October 8-9, including example comments representative of overall sentiment.