UK election generates 15 million tweets

FILE PHOTO: The Twitter App loads on an iPhone in this illustration photograph

LONDON (Reuters) – More than 15 million tweets were posted during the campaign leading up to Britain’s parliamentary election last week, election, up 66% on the previous election in 2017, Twitter said on Thursday.

The Dec. 12 election, billed as the most important in a generation, was notably acrimonious as activists, politicians, voters and journalists clashed over everything from Brexit to the health service and whether political leaders could be trusted.

Almost 10,000 tweets were sent in just one minute shortly after the publication of the key exit poll, just after voting ended at 10 p.m.

Twitter was at the centre of an early controversy about trust when Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s ultimately victorious Conservatives rebranded their account during a TV debate as “factcheckUK”.

Twitter warned the party not to mislead the public, and three days later barred political advertising from the platform. Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey said political conversation on the site should not be “compromised by money”.

On the lighter side, pictures of dogs at polling stations trended from 7 a.m. on election day.

Canine-themed posts have become an election day tradition in recent years, and more than 122,000 #DogsAtPollingStations tweets were posted.

Reporting by Paul Sandle; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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