#EUdebate2014 and social media: who won?

As Tony Barber puts it “With flashes of wit, much earnestness and a certain reluctance to go for the jugular of their opponents, four candidates for the European Commission presidency broke new ground on Monday night by holding a live televised debate designed to drum up public interest in the May 22-25 elections for the European parliament.”

Whether some people disagree over the interest, the engagement or the passion displayed by the four candidates, I think this was a very good exercise for the creation of a European online public space, as already theorized by Tony Lockett. Almost 46.000 mentions of #EUdebate2014 on 28 April represented a quite significant value in terms of engagement around the first real pan-European debate for the candidates to the Presidency of the European Commission.

CaptureHow involved were the people on social media? Let’s have a look.
Here is a wordcloud of the most used words on social media together with #EUdebate2014.

CaptureWe see the hashtags related to the campaigns of Juncker, Schulz and Verhofstadt (#withJuncker, #nowschulz, #guy4europe) were rather prominently used together also with reference the great selfie taken ahead of the dialogue.

By the way, for a collection of European elections-related selfie you should check out this Pinterest board by Dana Manescu

In terms of demographics, we can see the debate was not only limited to Europe but some volumes of conversation have also been recorded in the US.

CaptureIf we zoom in Europe, we can see most conversations took place in France, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain and the most used languages were English, French, Dutch and Italian


Capture2Even though I loved the debate, a tiny communication mistake turned into a fail. Euronews announced there were 10.000 tweets per minute coming in. To those working with analytics, this seemed straightaway a massive exaggeration but this quote was then copied and pasted massively by the audience (See the timeline below)


Mistakes happen, and social media provides the means to amend statements and clarify misunderstandings. This is why I was very surprised Euronews didn’t correct this statement both live (many people on Twitter flagged the mistake) and on Twitter ater the event was over. Eventually, they did correct the figures on the day after

Below you see also an analysis made with Flocker and Bluenod

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