Mitt Romney may have defeated President Obama at the first debate, but there was another winner last night in Denver: Twitter.
The microblogging site clocked an unprecedented 10.3 million tweets during the 90-minute debate. Twitter’s government and politics team put this graphic together showing that tweets peaked at flashpoint moments, like Mitt Romney’s pronouncement that he would defund Big Bird and when Obama blurted out, “I had five seconds.” Celebrities and average Joes alike chimed in with tweeted commentary.
Not everyone made it through the Twitter surge unscathed. At one point, KitchenAid tweeted out on its official account: “Obamas gma even knew it was going 2 b bad! She died 3 days b4 he became president”—playing off the president’s mention of his deceased grandmother’s struggle to access health care. The company quickly deleted the post and later apologized, saying the tweet had been intended for an employee’s personal account.