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 5th to December 11th, 2019.

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

  1. Confidential documents reveal U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan | The Washington Post
  2. More than 500 law professors say Trump committed ‘impeachable conduct’ | The Washington Post
  3. Opinion | Schiff’s Surveillance State | The Wall Street Journal
  4. Phone logs in impeachment report renew concern about security of Trump communications | The Washington Post
  5. Opinion | James Comey: The truth is finally out. The FBI fulfilled its mission. | The Washington Post

It will come as no surprise to regular readers of The Labs Report that the fight over impeachment dominated the list of most-talked-about news stories of the week. Three of the five stories were either about whether the President committed impeachable offenses or the process of investigating those alleged offenses. And, in a nice throwback to yesteryear, James Comey’s vindication lap over the origins of the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe also cracked the top five.

Given the national obsession with the impeachment inquiry, it’s somewhat surprising to see an article that has nothing to do with it at the top of the list: The Washington Post’s forensic examination of a trove of documents related to the now-20-year war in Afghanistan.

Indeed, the Post had a strong week, notching 4 of the top 5 stories, with The Wall Street Journal snagging the final spot. As we’ve seen in the past, when people are sharing and reacting to articles in the most serious press outlets, it’s a sign that the news itself is a serious affair.

The 10 Most Used Hashtags of the Week

  1. #FoxNews
  2. #DefendOurDemocracy
  3. #Trump
  4. #China
  5. #PelosiTownHall
  6. #KAG
  7. #MAGA
  8. #Impeachment
  9. #OneVoice1
  10. #Breaking

This week’s collection of top hashtags can broadly be classed as “The Usual Suspects:” the right side of the political spectrum was represented by #Trump, #MAGA and #KAG, while the left side of the spectrum rallied around #DefendOurDemocracy, #Impeachment and #OneVoice1.

The one outlier is the entrant in fifth spot: #PelosiTownHall, which started trending thanks to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s recent townhall-style appearance on CNN.

The Five Most Shared Tweets of the Week

As with the top articles of the week, the most-shared tweets of the week were all related to extremely serious matters of state. James Comey’s tweet of his own op-ed about the end of the investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation took the top spot, followed by no less than three tweets that were either from or about House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff.

Indeed, two of the tweets were representative of an idea taking hold in some quarters that, in investigating potential abuses of power by the President, Schiff has committed abuses of his own. Whether that particular talking point survives another busy week of political news remains to be seen – and will certainly be interesting to watch.

1. Comey takes a victory/vindication lap

2. Adam Schiff has numbers on his side…

3. …maybe too many (phone) numbers?

4. The WSJ argues that Schiff may have abused his position…

5. …while Nancy Pelosi argues that the President definitely abused his

Want more while you wait for next week’s edition of The Labs Report? Test your knowledge on deepfakes, take a read through our latest Story of a Hashtag analysis on #TeamTrees 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 5th to December 11th, 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 5th to December 11th, 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 5th to December 11th, 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 5th to December 11th, 2019 that received the most Retweets, ranked by number of Retweets from that date range.