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 1st to August 7th, 2019.

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

  1. Read: Leaked diplomatic letters over A$AP Rocky| CNN
  2. Trump Signs Bill Revoking Obama-Era Gun Checks for People With Mental Illnesses | NBC News (Note: Article originally published February 28, 2017)
  3. Photo of Idaho boys folding American flag goes viral | CBS News (Note: Article originally published September 21, 2018)
  4. Robot racism? Yes, says a study showing humans’ biases extend to robots | CNN Business
  5. Florida trooper had sex with 14-year-old girl in the back of his car: authorities | The New York Post

In a week marked by a series of mass shootings, none of the lead stories directly concerned the tragedies, with the top story focusing on A$AP Rocky diplomacy. However, the second-most-talked-about story of the week – a 2017 report on a bill that revoked gun checks for the mentally ill – is a clear response to some of the rhetoric that emerged in the aftermath of the tragedy in El Paso. 

Over at CBS, an article from 2018 went viral for the second time, but for the wrong reason: in sharing this tweet about a Navy SEAL fixing a broken American flag, CBS appears to have linked to the wrong article, breathing fresh life into a story about three boys taking great care to fold a flag. 

Elsewhere, a story about robot racism – or, more accurately, humans who discriminate against non-white robots – took the world by storm this week.

The 10 Most Used Hashtags of the Week

  1. #moscowmitch
  2. #foxnews
  3. #daytonshooting
  4. #massacremitch
  5. #demdebate
  6. #elpasoshooting
  7. #elpaso
  8. #leningradlindsey
  9. #nora
  10. #MAGA

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell was featured in two of the top ten hashtags of the week. Twitter users continued to use #moscowmitch as a form of shorthand for McConnell, before adding #massacremitch as a means of highlighting the Senator’s willingness to accept donations from the NRA. But McConnell isn’t in the barrel alone: his colleague Lindsey Graham faced similar scorn under the newly-minted #leningradlindsey hashtag. 

Elsewhere, #daytonshooting, #elpasoshooting and #elpaso told the story of the week’s tragedies, while #nora emerged as a rallying cry among users who want to see gun control enacted (it’s a play on #NRA)

The Five Most Shared Tweets of the Week

The top two tweets mirrored (and likely helped propel) the top news stories of the week, while the tweets that round out the top five are something of a mixed bag, with The New York Post receiving a second week’s worth of criticism following its framing of an alleged sexual assault of a minor by a police officer, a strong take on white supremacy by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a response to news of a murder. 

1. Top tweet fuels top story

*Potentially offensive language is blurred in the above image.

2. Patriot perspectives

3. The Post gets pummeled

4. AOC weighs in on white supremacy

5. Response to an Instagrammer’s tragic demise


Want more data-driven insights while you wait for next week’s edition of The Labs Report? Check out our latest Debates Debrief blog or read “Election 2020: Brands on the Ballot,” our special report that explores how brands can leverage data-driven analytics to thrive throughout the election cycle. 

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 1st to August 7th, 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 1st to August 7th, 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 1st to August 7th, 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 1st to August 7th, that received the most Retweets, ranked by number of Retweets from that date range.