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Social media analysis reveals Abbott under attack over gay marriage stance

Australia’s alternative prime minister Tony Abbott may have made headlines in the mainstream media this week following a series of gaffes, but it was his confrontation with US pop star Katy Perry and his use of the words “fashion of the moment” on John Laws’ radio program that drew huge amounts of attention on social media.

iSentia’s BuzzNumbers social listening platform analysed the social media conversations surrounding same sex marriage over the past seven days and found that 50% of social media conversations were in favour of same sex marriage, with a large majority of these criticising Tony Abbott’s use of the phrase “fashion of the moment”, and a vast number of conversations discussing Katy Perry’s confrontation with Abbott on 2DayFM.

Only 10% of the sample was in favour of restricting gay marriage. Forty per cent of social media conversations were classified as neutral, however this figure includes extensive retweets by journalists of Abbott’s quote – signifying that many users spread Abbott’s views widely amongst their social circles.

iSentia BuzzNumbers analysed the keywords ‘same sex marriage’, ‘gay marriage’, and ‘marriage equality’ over the past seven days, following Prime Minister Rudd’s pledge to vote on the issue within the first 100 days of regaining government, during the live election debate last Sunday night.

Despite Rudd championing the issue, of a total 4,700 mentions of gay marriage, 85% of conversations related to the Liberal party versus 15% to Labor – indicating a negative association with the Liberal brand on the issue of marriage equality.

Tweets included:

  • @katyperry you’re a legend for telling tony abbot that you don’t give him your vote because of gay marriage! God bless you.
  • Kevin Rudd says its time for marriage equality. Tony Abbott cried “it is the fashion of the moment”. This election is about equality #auspol
  • RT @senatormilne: Marriage equality is not a “fashion” @TonyAbbottMHR. It’s a long, hard fought campaign to end discrimination + celebrate …
  • seriously Tony?! What century were you born anyway?
  • Dear Tony. #marriageequality is NOT a fashion of the moment. It’s a human rights issue. You are confusing it with skinny leg jeans.
22 August, 2013 - No Comments