Donald Trump’s remark that he had “much better temperament” than Hillary Clinton carried the night as the No. 1 most-social moment on Facebook and Twitter during their first presidential debate Monday night.
“I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament,” Trump said during the debate, before criticizing Clinton about her supposedly erratic comportment (which prompted Clinton to respond, “Whew! OK,” with a grin and shimmy of her shoulders). The debate, held at Hofstra U. in New York, was moderated by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt.
The Republican nominee was roundly mocked on social media and by late-night TV hosts for the “temperament” comments, given his notorious tendency to spout angry and spiteful comments, not to mention his performance during the debate in which he repeatedly interrupted both Clinton and Holt.
— A Late Show (@colbertlateshow) September 27, 2016
Shortly after the debate ended a pro-Clinton super PAC, Priorities USA Action, released a 30-second ad on YouTube coupling Trump’s comment about temperament being his “strongest asset” with obscenity-strewn clips of him hurling invective (which the org said also began airing in seven states):
Trump, for better and for worse, sucked up most of the oxygen on social media. On Facebook, he had 79% share of the conversation, compared with 21% for Clinton, while Twitter said Trump’s share of tweets was 62% versus 38% for Clinton during the debate.
The most-retweeted tweet of the night was four years old: It was a Trump post from Nov. 6, 2012, in which he wrote, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” During the debate Trump falsely said he had never called global warming a hoax, after Clinton called him out on the issue.
Overall, 18.6 million people on Facebook in the U.S. generated 73.8 million likes, posts, comments and shares related to the Trump-Clinton debate, which ran from 9 p.m. ET until just past 10:30 p.m. Over the course of the entire day, Facebook reported 55 million views of debate-related Facebook Live videos.
The Facebook livestreaming activity included ABC News’ coverage of the first presidential debate, which exceeded 8 million views. In total, ABC News said its digital coverage of the first presidential debate notched 4.2 million unique visitors across its properties on desktop, mobile and over-the-top platforms.
Meanwhile, CBSN, CBS News’ digital streaming news service, set a new single-day viewership record Monday with 2.98 million streams and 1.4 million unique viewers for the day.
At press time, Twitter did not have data on number of users who engaged in tweeting about the debate, but the company said it was the most-tweeted-about debate to date. Twitter also live-streamed the debate, under a deal with Bloomberg Media, showing the video alongside a stream of related tweets.
According to Facebook, the most-discussed issues among users related to the debate were: taxes, ISIS, racial issues, the U.S. economy, and crime and criminal justice.
ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight said it hit an all-time single-day record traffic across all metrics during the event, including 8.2 million minutes and an average minute audience of 5,720, according to Adobe Analytics. Between 9 p.m. and midnight ET, FiveThirtyEight.com attracted 30,700 average minute impressions and peaked at 40,500 between 10 and 11 p.m.