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Friday, January 18, 2013
The Web's reaction to Lance Armstrong

By Zach McCann


While Manti Te’o has dominated Twitter for most of the past two days, he was given a break Thursday night as the digital sports world focused its keyboards and mobile phones on Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. Well, kind of. Te’o still trended late into Thursday night, and the bizarre story certainly took some attention away from Armstrong and his admission of guilt.

But we still thought it’d be interesting to see how the Internet reacted to Armstrong’s tell-all interview. Sysomos, a Twitter analytics and monitoring company, provided some statistics.

• There were 316,084 tweets during the Armstrong interview, and there have been 319,500 since midnight. That’s a lot, but not compared to the highest concentration of tweets Sysomos has tracked, which was Jan. 1 when the term “new year” appeared in 40.6 million tweets worldwide.

Twitter map
Most of Armstrong-related tweets came from the U.S. and scattered throughout Europe.
• On Thursday, sentiments toward Armstrong were 31 percent negative, 27 percent positive and 42 percent neutral. The interview won Armstrong some fans, as the sentiment since then has turned to 26 percent negative, 30 percent positive and 44 percent neutral.

• The top hashtags used were #lancearmstrong and #armstrong. However, in normal Twitter fashion, there were also some sarcastic hashtags used such as #livewrong, #doprah and #liestrong.

• Ninety-seven percent of tweets were one-offs, while only 3 percent went two to four tweets deep. Perhaps this shows people were mostly tweeting singular impressions of the interview, rather than interacting with one another.

• More men were tweeting about the interview than women (77 percent to 23 percent).