Perhaps it is only fitting for a presidential election season, but this month’s biggest stories have stirred an unusual level of passion in this country.
The Washington Post’s stories on the Supreme Court’s review of the health care law, the death of Trayvon Martin, and the testimony of Sandra Fluke on contraception have been among the most commented stories on our site — receiving thousands of reader comments in a single day. Some of those comments spread misinformation; others don’t — but almost all are highly emotional.
In part, the response may have been passionate because all three stories centered around deeply personal issues, like health, race relations and sexuality. In many of the comments, Post readers used the word “I” or “me.”
For another measure of reader interest, take a look at the spikes in Web searches that happened around these stories, contrasted with Web searches for a popular subject like the Washington Redskins.
At several points this month, “Sandra Fluke,” “Trayvon Martin,” and “Obamacare” also became trending topics on Twitter.
More people talking about a subject doesn’t necessarily mean more emotion, but more people interacting with a story online probably does. And in every way they can, Post readers have passionately interacted with these stories.
“I am beyond upset,” reads one of the most recent comments on a blog post on Trayvon Martin. “We must take a stand!”