Welcome to this week’s edition of The Labs Report, your one-stop, data-driven shop to quickly get up to speed on the most important and influential stories of the week.

Here’s what was trending on Twitter from August 15th to August 21st, 2019.

The Five Most-Talked-About News Stories of the Week 

  1. Someone left old TVS outside 50 homes in Virginia while wearing a TV on his head. No one knows why.| The Washington Post
  2. Autopsy finds broken bones in Jeffrey Epstein’s neck, deepening questions around his death | The Washington Post
  3. Israeli Decision on Omar and Tlaib Inflames Politics in Two Countries | The New York Times
  4. President Trump donates $100,000 of his salary to Surgeon General’s office | USA Today
  5. The 1619 Project | The New York Times

At number one this week, a truly bizarre tale from The Washington Post about a person roaming the streets of a Virginia town and leaving old TVs outside 50 homes, all while wearing a TV on his/her head as a disguise.

The Post also produced the second most-talked-about story of the week with its account of Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy and the attendant conspiracy theories it has generated about his death. The third and fifth spots, meanwhile, belong to The New York Times, with the latter promoting the Times’ truly groundbreaking 1619 Project, an initiative aimed at reframing the country’s understanding of the history and consequences of slavery.

Finally, a USA Today piece on President Trump’s commitment to donating his presidential salary back to different government departments claims the final slot in this week’s top five.

The 10 Most Used Hashtags of the Week

  1. #FoxNews
  2. #1619Project
  3. #MoscowMitch
  4. #Epstein
  5. #Kashmir
  6. #MAGA
  7. #Trump
  8. #ProtectX
  9. #OneVoice1
  10. #TrumpDerangementSyndrome

The week in hashtags was marked by a number of new terms making their debut in the top 10. The Times’ #1619Project made by far the biggest splash, debuting in second place behind the ever-present #FoxNews. 

Further down, the final three spots in the rankings were also claimed by terms making their first appearance (at least over the lifetime of this report): #ProtectX, which arose in response to changes made to Title X funding provisions by the Trump administration; #OneVoice1, a multi-purpose left-leaning Twitter rallying cry with a strong focus on gun control; and the more self-explanatory #TrumpDerangementSyndrome.

Elsewhere, Mitch McConnell’s brief reprieve from the top 10 didn’t last long, as the Senate Leader once again found his name being dragged through the #MoscowMitch mud (read our blog post to learn about the origins and meteoric rise of this hashtag), while continued news developments have also kept #Epstein and #Kashmir in the public eye.

The Five Most Shared Tweets of the Week

In a big week for viral celebrity tweets, the three most-shared messages of the week all came from extremely famous people. Unsurprisingly, the most-shared story of the week – Virginia’s TV delivery extravaganza/weirdness – featured in two of the top five tweets. In addition, we got another example of an old tweet achieving viral status despite having appeared many times before, from many different users.

1. ICE T is bemused

2. John Legend is appalled

3. The President is in a giving mood…

4. …so maybe that’s him under the mask?

5. Another “borrowed” tweet goes viral


Want more data-driven insights while you wait for next week’s edition of The Labs Report? Check out our Story of a Hashtag blog post to learn more about the rise of #MoscowMitch, or read “From Tradition to Traction: The New Rules of Financial Services Communications,” our latest special report that explores how impact-driven metrics can help you supercharge the growth and reputation of your financial institution.

Be sure to also visit our Resource Center and get in touch with our team to find out more about how Zignal Labs can help you build and protect your brand.

Methodology: The data which drives this series, provided by the Zignal Labs platform, is informed by a 10% sampling of Twitter activity around news stories published from August 15th to August 21st, 2019. Stories are published by 25 of the most highly-read publications across the country (based on circulation data), including: ABC News, Bloomberg, The Boston Globe, CBS News, The Chicago Tribune, CNN, The Dallas Morning News, The Denver Post, Fox News, The Houston Chronicle, Huffington Post, The LA Times, MSNBC, NBC News, The New York Daily News, The New York Post, The New York Times, Newsday, Reuters, The Seattle Times, The Star Tribune, The Tampa Bay News, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
The “Top 5 Most-Talked-About Stories of the Week” are the five stories from the above-mentioned publications that received the most mentions across Twitter from August 15th to August 21st, 2019, ranked by number of mentions from that date range.
The “Ten Most Used Hashtags of the Week “ are the ten hashtags that were mentioned the most on Twitter around Tweets related to news stories published by the above-mentioned publications from August 15th to August 21st, 2019, ranked by number of mentions from that date range.
The “Top Five Most Shared Tweets of the Week” are the five Tweets, related to news stories published by the above-mentioned publications from August 15th to August 21st, 2019, that received the most Retweets, ranked by number of Retweets from that date range.