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 February 6th to February 12, 2020.

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

  1. Secret Service has paid rates as high as $650 a night for rooms at Trump’s properties | The Washington Post
  2. Justice Dept. to reduce sentencing recommendation for Trump associate Roger Stone, official says, after president calls it ‘unfair’ | The Washington Post
  3. Opinion | Marie Yovanovitch: These are turbulent times. But we will persist and prevail.| The Washington Post
  4. Opinion | In Private, Republicans Admit They Acquitted Trump Out of Fear | The New York Times
  5. On Facebook, anti-vaxxers pushed a mom not to give her son tamiflu. He later died. | NBC News

The Washington Post had a big week, publishing each of the top three most-talked-about stories. No prizes if you guessed that they all had the President and his administration in common, but at least we’re starting to see some variety in the types of stories that are circulating: allegations of overcharging for Secret Service accommodations at Trump properties, revelations on Roger Stone’s sentencing recommendations and an op-ed by the former ambassador to Ukraine.

Trump was also featured in the fourth story: an op-ed from Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, in which he reveals that several of his Republican colleagues voted to acquit the President out of fear for their jobs.

The final item in the top five is about a toddler’s death that was more-than-likely preventable, and which raises serious questions about the role of social media and misinformation in our society.

The 10 Most Used Hashtags of the Week

  1. #FoxNews
  2. #CoronaVirus
  3. #Democrats
  4. #Oscars
  5. #China
  6. #OneVoice1
  7. #IowaCaucusDisaster
  8. #MAGA
  9. #HillaryClinton
  10. #DemDebate

#FoxNews regained its pretty-much-customary top spot this week, with the still-burgeoning #CoronaVirus epidemic hot on its heels. Elsewhere, the #Oscars made it into the top five, and primaries were on people’s minds, with #Democrats, #DemDebate and #IowaCaucusDisaster all trending. 

That focus also led to the reappearance of #HillaryClinton after quite some time – the defeated 2016 Democratic presidential candidate’s name hit the top 10 thanks to an explosion of chatter about the potential for her to get a second bite at the electoral cherry in a brokered convention, should the primary process fail to deliver a clear winner.

The Five Most Shared Tweets of the Week


It wasn’t a great week for heart-warming tweets. Top tweets this week included a story about a child succumbing to the flu; inflated Secret Service hotel bills; a harsh look at Pete Buttigieg’s military record; allegations against CNN host Don Lemon; and commentary on a recent high-profile government sacking.

1. A preventable tragedy

2. Airbnb for President

3. Mayor Pete under the microscope

4. Don Lemon blocks Terrence Williams

5. Chain of command clarification

Want more while you wait for next week’s edition of The Labs Report? Visit our Resource Cente and get in touch with our team to find out more about how Zignal Labs can help you measure the real-time evolution of opinion to drive more powerful campaigns, products and experiences.

Methodology: The data which drives this series is informed by a 10% sampling of Twitter activity around news stories published from February 6th to February 12th, 2020. 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 February 6th to February 12th, 2020, 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 February 6th to February 12th, 2020, 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 February 6th to February 12th, 2020 that received the most Retweets, ranked by number of Retweets from that date range.