Trump dominates Facebook and the Twittersphere; Ben Carson second

Trump dominates Facebook and the Twittersphere; Ben Carson second
Real estate tycoon Donald Trump speaks during the prime time Republican presidential debate on August 6, 2015 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
PHOTO: AFP

Real estate mogul Donald Trump delivered some of the most talked-about moments during the prime-time Republican presidential debate, garnering the most mentions on Twitter, with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson a distant second.

Trump was also the most-discussed candidate on Facebook during Thursday night's debate, with Carson again behind him, and Trump was the most searched name on Google, according to data released by the companies.

Trump, Carson, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and six other Republicans squared off in Cleveland in the first major debate for the crowd seeking the party's nomination in the November 2016 election.

Twitter said Trump, who led in the polls going into the debate, garnered about 30 percent of the mentions, with Carson behind him around 12 percent.

Bush, ranked second in a recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, placed seventh in Twitter mentions.

According to Facebook, which said it saw 7.5 million people making 20 million debate-related interactions, the most-discussed issues were immigration and race relations, followed by the economy.

Both Twitter and Facebook said the most talked-about moment on their platforms came between New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and U.S. Senator Rand Paul.

Paul has supported curbs on the government's ability to collect information on Americans, which Christie said could put U.S. citizens at risk.

The back-and-forth devolved into a shouting match, with Paul declaring Christie was so close to President Barack Obama he gave him a "big hug." Christie was photographed with the president after superstorm Sandy hit his state in 2012.

Trump generated other top moments when he asserted Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton came to his wedding because he had donated so much money to her campaigns and the Clinton Foundation, and for his response to a question about his past derogatory comments about women, Twitter said.

Carson did not appear in the top moments on Twitter, but the retired physician did get laughs when he said he was the only candidate onstage who had separated Siamese twins or operated on babies still in their mothers' wombs.

Democrats did not debate on Thursday night, but Hillary Clinton still snagged some media attention online.

Reality television and social media star Kim Kardashian posted a photo on Facebook with her husband, Kanye West, and Clinton, the former secretary of state. "I got my selfie!!!" Kardashian wrote. "I really loved hearing her speak & hearing her goals for our country!"

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