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The Rip Seen ‘Round The World

Near the beginning of each year, the president of the United States issues a State of the Union address. In this annual speech to the nation, the president discusses a myriad of topics at their choosing, including healthcare, the economy, and international relations.

Last night, on Feb. 4, President Donald Trump gave his third State of the Union address in his term. According to CNN, Trump covered each of the aforementioned topics, including his touting of the US’ new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, his Isareli-Palestinian peace plan, and his plan to fight AIDS.

But what has been most talked about since the address hasn’t even been something Trump has done. It’s been the actions of the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi.

As Trump’s speech concluded and many in the Republican party gave him a standing ovation, Pelosi, standing behind Trump while he was on the dais, ripped the copy of the State of the Union speech he gave her just before he took to the podium.

In using Social Studio to examine just how much reaction Pelosi’s action has generated over social media, simply her last name was used as a keyword. Her name has generated 3.8 million posts.

And the reaction from social media has been, arguably unsurprisingly, mixed. Many have defender Pelosi, while others have denounced her actions.

According to Social Studio, as of 2:20 pm ET on Feb. 5, the overall sentiment has been mostly negative. Keep in mind, however, that sentiment analysis does not account for such factors as slang and sarcasm. Still, it sheds some light on how her paper ripping has been received online.

And in examining what exactly is being said around social media posts, an examination was made of a word cloud around the keyword, ‘Pelosi.’ Terms used that further show ‘Pelosi’ alone is a sufficient keyword search, include ‘ripped,’ ‘ripping,’ and ‘tearing.’

It’s also interesting to see who is driving the conversation about Pelosi. Using Social Studio’s influencer analysis, there are the usual suspects, media organizations such as ABC News, CNN, Reuters, and CBS News. But there are also a few individuals, such as Newsweek columnist Seth Abramson,’s Ben Shapiro, and blogger Perez Hilton.

Upon further inspection, Abramson appears to be supportive of Pelosi and against Trump, while Shapiro appears to take the opposite stance. It’s unclear, at least from the post getting the most traction by Hilton, what his stance is.

Pelosi, however, has been a topic of conversation for other reasons as well. Also last night, she drew attention when Trump refused to shake her outstretched hand before speaking. She also is who brought articles of impeachment against Trump, of which the verdict of the resulting Senate trial is expected this afternoon.

We’ll keep an eye on other trending topics, political, sports, or otherwise, from our perch atop the Communications building in the Adam Brown Social Media Command center.