Who won the second and final presidential debate between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden?
Social media says: Biden, by a slight draw.
Fewer people watched the debate, and way fewer tweeted, and the ones who did were less negative than for the first presidential debate, said Alex Carter, a PHD student at the Adam Brown Social Media Command Center at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, which monitors user activity on Twitter.
The Center used a Salesforce software program to monitor online reactions to various topics surrounding the debate. Researchers identified keywords and gauged how people used them online 90-minutes before, during and another 90 minutes after the debate.
On Twitter, the Center said that the debate "was a bit easier to stomach for most Americans, with a negative sentiment of 58% throughout the night, a 10% decrease from the first debate."
There was also a nearly 60% reduction in traffic compared to the Sept. 29 debate. By negative, Carter describes that as Trump saying that COVID-19 was turning a corner, and Biden countering that we're in a long winter. More people commented on Biden's tweet, for instance, which gives that a negative sentiment.
But overall, there was much less engagement, Carter said.
The first debate attracted some 15 million tweets, while he clocked in about 4 million tweets for round two.
"It was also a much less contentious debate," Carter said. "And more issue focused."
Overall, Biden attracted more positive tweets for his handling of issues, ranging from the coronavirus and the economy, while Trump saw a spike at the end when they discussed fracking and Biden's views on the future of oil.
COVID was the most discussed topic of the night, attracting some 300,000 tweets.
"Either side could claim victory," he says. "But based on social media, it looks like Biden had the better night."
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Who won last night's debate? Social media gave Biden the winning edge