Wow. Not only is Rupert Murdoch having some serious offline troubles with his embroiled tabloid News of the World, but he’s being kicked around Twitter, too. Topics about the phone hacking scandal and subsequent closure of the tabloid were represented in 53 percent of all news links in tweets sent last week, July 4th to 8th, according to numbers from Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.
News of the World grabbed the attention of Twitter in a way that very few other stories before it has. According to Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, News of the World and related topics was given more attention than any other single topic on Twitter in the past 10 months, and is among the six most-talked about topics on Twitter since they began monitoring it in 2009.
I’m not surprised that official numbers from Pew’s New Media Index are showing that Murdoch’s scandalous tabloid grabbed so much of Twitter’s attention. An analysis on July 8th showed that “News of the World” and other keyword phrases related to the scandal were visible in a full quarter of a million tweets, making it a much more popular story than the previous UK scandal about super injunctions. And by July 13th, there were over half a million tweets which included the hashtag #NOTW, which The Guardian analysed in an infographic.
News that former News of the World editor Rebckah Brooks has resigned broke earlier today, so I’d expect the Twitter chatter around the tabloid to be reinvigorated.