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 December 12th to December 18th, 2019.

Note: We’ll be taking a two-week break – look for our next Labs Report on Thursday, January 9. Happy Holidays!

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

  1. Opinion | We Are Republicans, and We Want Trump Defeated | The New York Times
  2. Opinion | Eric Holder: William Barr is unfit to be attorney general | The Washington Post
  3. Opinion | The F.B.I. Is Not Broken | The New York Times
  4. Mormon Church has misled members on $100 billion tax-exempt investment fund, whistleblower alleges | The Washington Post
  5. Comey admits error in defense of FBI’s FISA process after IG report: ‘He was right, I was wrong’ | Fox News

Unsurprisingly, Twitter users spent much of the past week discussing news items related to the ongoing impeachment proceedings. 

More unusually, the top three articles of the week were all op-eds – and they were all about the fitness of a person or group for their current purpose. Leading the way was a piece from a group of Republicans who would prefer to see the current President defeated at the polls, followed by a scathing appraisal of the current Attorney General by one of his predecessors. Finally, a former director of both the F.B.I. and the CIA weighed in on why the current F.B.I. is nowhere near as problem-ravaged as certain sections of the press make it out to be.

Elsewhere, The Washington Post continued its recent vein of remembering that there are other things going on in the world, and drew a significant amount of attention to alleged financial impropriety within the Mormon Church.

Finally, a Fox News piece recapping an interview with former CIA boss James Comey also made the top five this week – propelled, as will be seen below – by a viral tweet from one of the network’s hosts.

The 10 Most Used Hashtags of the Week

  1. #FoxNews
  2. #MAGA
  3. #ImpeachmentEve
  4. #Impeachment
  5. #AmericaFirst
  6. #Trump
  7. #Dobbs
  8. #OneVoice1
  9. #TulsaRaceMassacre
  10. #China

Unsurprisingly, #impeachment was well represented by hashtag users, with people on both sides of the debate contributing to its fourth-place spot in this week’s top ten. Those who believe the case for impeachment has been made tended to add #ImpeachmentEve to their tweets, while #MAGA and #AmericaFirst users tended to do so in support of the President.

Elsewhere #Dobbs was trending after Lou Dobbs, a Fox News anchor, helped make an article about James Comey go viral, while #TulsaRaceMassacre highlighted a story that may otherwise have been lost in the shuffle this week: the discovery of a mass grave in Oklahoma believed to be related to race riots in 1921 that were recently recreated in the Watchmen TV show.

The Five Most Shared Tweets of the Week

Once again, the Trump administration was the central theme on Twitter this week – every one of the five most-shared tweets had something to do with it. Both Adam Schiff and Lou Dobbs had viral tweets that helped to propel two of the week’s top news item into the stratosphere. 

We also saw a return for Rachel Maddow in the top tweet segment – something she hasn’t achieved for a while. Finally, we also saw a pair of tweets that capture competing viewpoints about the President’s conduct – one coming to his defense over impeachment, and the other resurfacing concerns over his tax returns (remember those?).

1. Adam Schiff stans Eric Holder’s take on William Barr

2. Election security issues

3. Remember last week when James Comey thought he was vindicated?

4. The anti-impeachment argument remains popular

5. The President’s taxes remain a talking point

Want more while you wait for next week’s edition of The Labs Report? See what’s on the horizon for media analytics in 2020, read our latest Meet the Team post or learn more about the #YangGang.

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 is informed by a 10% sampling of Twitter activity around news stories published from December 12th to December 18th, 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 December 12th to December 18th, 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 December 12th to December 18th, 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 December 12th to December 18th, 2019 that received the most Retweets, ranked by number of Retweets from that date range.