The report about Jeffrey Epstein’s death today galvanized the entire spectrum of political news consumers in the USA. From Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Seth Abramson, to John McAfee and Michael Coudrey, through Joe Scarborough and Ana Navarro-Cárdenas, there is a unified hunger for the truth, and a fertile ground for conspiracy theories.
Front Page Live has analyzed data from 25,000 tweets and 5,000 Facebook posts scraped this afternoon using the social media monitoring tools provided by Crowdtangle to trace this “perfect news storm” created by a breaking story like this.
Who was the first to break the news? Who was most retweeted? Who is promoting the craziest(?) conspiracy theories? It appears that Jeffrey Epstein death will become one more American story where regardless of the results of any future investigations, people will not change their opinions formed within first 24 hours.
The news exploded on social media at a perfect time — early morning Eastern Time with the entire Twitterverse already well primed to talk about the cache of documents related to the pending Epstein case exposing wrongdoing by many powerful people released yesterday.
Julie K. Brown, the Miami Herald investigative reporter who broke Epstein plea deal with Alexander Acosta story tweeted literally one minute before the first report about Epstein death:
ICYMI: Buried in the trove of documents are the names of influential people including former Sen. Majority Leader George Mitchell, who in 2008 — the same year Epstein received his sweetheart deal — was one of Time magazine's most powerful people. https://t.co/pZWZWos7e1
— julie k. brown (@jkbjournalist) August 10, 2019
Based on 25,000 tweets referring to Jeffrey Epstein scraped from Twitter today at 4:50pm ET using Crowdtangle tools, the first tweet came at 5:53:11 a.m ET. from Julia Macfarlane, an ABC News foreign affairs reporter. But she credits her colleague Aaron Katersky from ABC News Investigative Unit, who was slower with his tweet by 1 minute and 39 seconds, an eternity in the world of breaking news. Around 150 tweets about Jeffrey Epstein’s death were posted within first 10 minutes since the first, original tweet. The tweet that garnered the most interactions was posted by Joe Scarborough from NBC.
Breaking: Jeffrey Epstein committed suicide overnight at MCC Manhattan, the federal lockup where he had been held pending trial on federal sex trafficking charges, three law enforcement officials told @ABC News. Via @AaronKatersky
— Julia Macfarlane (@juliamacfarlane) August 10, 2019
Authorities couldn’t keep Epstein alive by putting him under 24 hour surveillance? How convenient for a lot of rich and powerful men.
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) August 10, 2019
About two-thirds of American adults (68%) say they at least occasionally get news on social media, according to a Pew Research Center survey. Many of these consumers, however, are skeptical of the information they see there: A majority (57%) say they expect the news they see on social media to be largely inaccurate.
Republicans are more negative about the news they see on social media than Democrats. Among Republican social media news consumers, 72% say they expect the news they see there to be inaccurate, compared with 46% of Democrats and 52% of independents.
And while 42% of those Democrats who get news on social media say it has helped their understanding of current events, fewer Republicans (24%) say the same.
Asked what they like about the news experience on social media, more Americans mention ease of use than content. “Convenience” is by far the most commonly mentioned benefit, (21%)
Who do you trust? Those are some of the most popular headlines today:
Convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein dead - New York Post
A 2016 HuffPost investigation found that suicide is almost entirely preventable behind bars.“- People often say, ’Well, if somebody wants to kill themselves, they’re going to kill themselves,’” Margo Schlanger, a law professor at the University of Michigan who specializes in criminal justice, told HuffPost at the time. “That’s false. If you run a jail with an appropriate degree of suicide prevention, you get almost zero.”
Conspiracies are thriving
One conspiracy theory about “malfunctioning cameras” that spread like a wildfire can be traced to a tweet posted by Michael Coudrey within first minutes from the first news about Epstein’s death and as such must be regareded as pure speculation at this point, regardless of how much some people wish that to be true.
BREAKING: Alleged "camera malfunction" last night at MCC where Jeffrey Epstein was locked up.#EpsteinFiles
— Michael Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) August 10, 2019
The mememakers of the Web are active, and everybody can find a meme supporting their own favorite conspiracy theory on Jeffrey Estein’s death. It appears however that right wingers are way more prolific pushing the “Clinton’s conspiracy”.
BY Wojtek Wacowski for Front Page LiveBack To Front Page