PEJ New Media Index: The Debate over Health Care Reaches a New Level Online

Apr 01, 2010

With the passage of legislation in Congress, social media devoted more attention to the health care reform last week than it had at any point since the legislative battle over the issue began last spring. On blogs, Twitter, and YouTube, the issue overwhelmed all other subjects as Internet users shared their reactions to the bill and then focused on the heated discussions that surrounded the protests.

From March 22-26, fully 61% of the week's links in the blogosphere concerned health care, according to the New Media Index from the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. That was the largest level of attention the subject has received since PEJ began monitoring social media in January 2009 and was five points higher than the week before, which had been the previous high.

On Twitter, 26% of the links were about health care, also the most attention to the subject on that platform since PEJ started tracking the site in June 2009. The issue was also the subject of three of the top five most-viewed news videos on YouTube.

The pattern mirrors, incidentally, what we found in traditional media-that the debate over health care reform received its highest attention following the bill's passage.

Read the full report The Debate over Health Care Reaches a New Level Online on the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism Web site.

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