Tracing #StopTheSteal, #BLM, #Trump, #Biden And Other 2020 Hashtags On Twitter
The graphs below trace select Twitter hashtags using data from Indiana University's Observatory on Social Media, tracing the percentage of daily tweets containing that hashtag. Other than #StopTheSteal which didn't begin until November 2020, all graphs run February 1, 2018 through January 22, 2021.
This timeline tracks #StopTheSteal showing it materalized on November 3rd and died on January 7, 2021 as Twitter banned it, showing how Twitter can effectively kill a topic simply by flipping an algorithmic switch.
The timeline below tracks appearances of the #MAGA hashtag, showing its rise in advance of the 2018 elections and that in 2020 it didn't start trending until early September and dropped abruptly after Trump's loss.
This timeline plots #Trump2020, showing it took off in January 2019, ramping up nearly linearly other than a brief decrease around the start of the pandemic.
The timeline below shows #Vote. Interestingly, in both 2018 and 2020 mentions began in September, though in 2018 they began in late September, while in 2020 they began in early September. Despite 2020 being a unique election, it received only twice as many mentions.
This shows the 2018 to present portion of the #MeToo movement showing how it had largely faded from Twitter by November 2018.
The #Biden hashtag didn't emerge until around March 2019 and didn't really take off until early 2020, peaking during the election, fading and then coming back since the inauguration.
In contrast, #Trump has been a consistent trend.
Finally, #BlackLivesMatter can be seen to trend vertically with George Floyd's death then fade rapidly over the following two months.