Trump vs. Hillary: What Went Viral During the 2016 US Presidential Election

  • Kareem Darwish
  • Walid Magdy
  • Tahar Zanouda
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10539)


In this paper, we present quantitative and qualitative analysis of the top retweeted tweets (viral tweets) pertaining to the US presidential elections from September 1, 2016 to Election Day on November 8, 2016. For everyday, we tagged the top 50 most retweeted tweets as supporting or attacking either candidate or as neutral/irrelevant. Then we analyzed the tweets in each class for: general trends and statistics; the most frequently used hashtags, terms, and locations; the most retweeted accounts and tweets; and the most shared news and links. In all we analyzed the 3,450 most viral tweets that grabbed the most attention during the US election and were retweeted in total 26.3 million times accounting over 40% of the total tweet volume pertaining to the US election in the aforementioned period. Our analysis of the tweets highlights some of the differences between the social media strategies of both candidates, the penetration of their messages, and the potential effect of attacks on both.


US elections Quantitative analysis Qualitative analysis Computational social science 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Qatar Computing Research InstituteHBKUDohaQatar
  2. 2.School of InformaticsThe University of EdinburghEdinburghScotland

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