from #lockerroomtalk to #makekennethboneagain, how twitter won the debate

Ken Bone stans for Ariana Grande, among other glorious digital relics from a messy night.

by Salvatore Maicki
Oct 10 2016, 9:00pm

Last night's debate was the most tweeted in American history, with Twitter reporting more than 17 million event-related quips. Furthermore, it was the most tweeted day of the 2016 election thus far. Cementing Twitter's status as the unofficial digital hub of the night, users had the option to stream the debate directly from the website. As the night got progressively dirtier, much of the country took to tweeting about everything from Melania Trump's pussy blouse to her husband's bizarre denial of "knowing anything about Russia."

Even before the direct exchange began, users were on deck for moments of non-interaction, with the #nohandshake hashtag revving up just seconds into the night. The most glaring issue facing Donald Trump leading up to the big event was the recently unearthed tape from 2005 which finds him bragging to Billy Bush about advancing on women by "grabbing them by the pussy." His explicit comments were brought up almost immediately, and refusing to apologize, he relegated them to the sacred grounds of the "locker room." The hashtag #lockerroomtalk then remained a trending topic for hours after the debate. One particularly keen eye noticed the fitting placement of the word "consent" on the backdrop behind Trump as he attempted to gloss over the subject. 

After complaining about the alleged unfair moderation, Trump said he would allow Hillary Clinton to speak first on a question "because he's a gentleman" which prompted this priceless facial reaction. Later, Twitter caught Trump in a compromising position with his chair. Perhaps the most wholesome meme of the night came via this priceless shot of Clinton and Trump speaking over one another, which Twitter took as a passionate karaoke session of sorts. Countless users dubbed the images with iconic duet lyrics, from Dolly Parton and Kenny Roger's "Islands In The Stream" to Jennifer Lopez and Ja Rule's "I'm Real."

Of course, the two candidates weren't the only characters of the night. The fly that landed on a nonchalant Clinton's face during one of the more heated moments of the exchange has already amassed nearly 500 followers since its showstopping debut. Tiffany Trump's slick avoidance of a paternal kiss led to one of the easiest GIFs of the night.

And then, in the midst of all the acerbic banter, the good natured yet undecided Kenneth Bone was dubbed the unequivocal social media icon of the night. Between the pleas to #MakeKennethBoneAgain to the delightfully analog scene of Bone capturing the night with a disposable camera, his jolly demeanor was a welcome flash of innocence during an otherwise bitter night. Bone's own Twitter account has since gained over 18,000 new fans. His only tweet prior to the debate was an endearing message to Ariana Grande in 2013, which now seems especially poignant in the context of this election.


Photo via Flickr user Rich Girard

Hillary Clinton
Donald Trump
Social Media