This week, the US Senate Judiciary Committee has held hearings involving the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as a supreme court justice. Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Sept. 18.
The nomination of Barrett, as well as the hearings this week have been nitpicked thoroughly by plenty of pundits. Many have seen the nomination as rushed ahead of the election, while others have pointed out that Trump is in line with his right to nominate Barrett, with his term not set to expire until Jan. 20.
But pundits aside, we wanted to get an assessment of what social media users think of Barrett and the process. To that end, we enlisted the help of Social Studio.
While this is not an exhaustive search, in order to not get too overwhelming of a data set, the only terms searched for were “Amy” and “Coney” and “Barrett,” as well as “Supreme” and “Court” and “confirmation.” This search still yielded 3,559,659 posts over the previous seven days as of 9 p.m. ET Oct. 14. Popular hashtags used along with these search terms are #scotus, #whatsatstake, #scotushearing, #courtpacking, and #blockbarrett.
According to the data retrieved from Social Studio, there is not a huge disparity in the age groups talking about Barrett and the confirmation hearings. But the leading demographic is the age 45-54 group, according to biography data available, as well as the algorithm used by Social Studio to determine age of users making posts. This group is followed by 35-44 and 55-64. The two bottom groups are 18-20 and 21-24, as the younger voting groups appear to pay little attention to this topic.
The always favorite, word cloud is also a good way to gauge the online reaction. I honestly did not know why the terms ‘juan’ and ‘jesse’ figured prominently in the search. But upon further inspection, the terms refer to the Fox News show, “The Five” in which co-hosts Juan Williams and Jesse Waters had a ‘heated’ debate about Barrett and the hearings live on the air.
Knowing the demographic of Fox News viewers as largely right-leaning, this could imply that those viewers are controlling the narrative. However, Social Studio also provides the domain, or source of the chatter. The biggest source, by far, is Twitter, which is unsurprising since much of Social Studio’s accessible data is Twitter. But the next largest source is CNN.com. FoxNews.com is sixth on the list, implying the possibility that users on CNN are talking about Fox News.
It appears, however, that online users are tiring of the topic of Barrett and the confirmation hearings. The trend rose in posts from Sunday, the day before the hearings, through Tuesday. But there was a significant drop on Wednesday.
We’ll still continue to monitor the topic of Barrett and the Supreme Court hearings with the help of Social Studio and the Adam Brown Command Center.