In case you don't have any access to any kind of social media, let's catch you up: Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the breast cancer charity that has become synonymous with the color pink, created quite the controversy earlier this week when they cut off their funding to Planned Parenthood. Komen says it's because they don't fund organizations who are currently under investigation by the government. Loads of people in the world have called bullshit on that excuse and pointed out that Karen Handel, SGK's Vice President, has in fact had a pretty big slant against PP for some time now (here's the now-infamous retweet she posted then immediately deleted - thanks, Internet).
Like I said, though, if you have even the slightest presence on social media sites then this news has been all over your feeds this week. Using Trendistic, a graphing tool that tracks trends on Twitter, you can see the spike in mentions of "komen" starting on Tuesday when the news broke.
That initial spike you see indicates a .06% when I mouse over it, but I'm not sure if that's the percentage increase in tweets containing "komen" or if it means something else, but I'll explain that in a second.
Additionally, the term "planned parenthood" attracted even more attention and actually trended a little higher than "komen," as you'll see below in the graph. At the same time, Tuesday, January 31, at 6PM, "planned parenthood" was trending at .07%.
As I said, I'm not precisely sure what those percentages indicate but let's try to put it into a context from which we can hopefully extract some significance. I searched a couple of other popular terms to measure against the "komen" and "planned parenthood" trends. At the same time - again, on Tuesday at 6PM - these are the percentage of tweets for the following terms: "patriots" was .04%, "giants" was .04%, "super bowl" was .02%, "obama" was .06%, and "florida" was .1%. Given that the comparison terms I used are related to this Sunday's Super Bowl and the presidential election (Note: the term "romney" dwarfed all of these terms on Tuesday, but that was also the day Romney won Florida's primary), i.e., things people are talking about, you can see that lots of people have been talking about Susan G. Komen and Planned Parenthood on Twitter.
So... what are people saying? Well. They're not happy. Have a look:
Er, wait. I almost put this first tweet at the bottom on purpose but then realized that some trolls out there would call me biased, but whatever - I am biased because this Komen decision is hateful and the product of ideological madness. At any rate, I'm still putting first the tweet-and-video-message from Nancy Brinker, Susan G. Komen's sister and co-founder of SGK For The Cure.
Now that you've read/seen that, here's how the rest of the Twitterscape feels about Komen dumping Planned Parenthood.
Komen thing is about more than abortion or Planned Parenthood. It's about whether sexually active women have a right to full health care.
If you're not outraged by what the Susan G Komen organization has done by ending support for Planned Parenthood, you're not paying attention
Overheard at Komen boardroom: "Help us, Koch Brothers, you're our only hope!"
Today I will write a check payable to "Planned Parenthood."
BREAKING: Tax records reveal most of Susan G Komen money goes to curing ham.
The sad part of the Komen debacle is that a noble enterprise was infected with the moral Cancer that has permeated the political Right.
Big week 4 GOP...Komen's anti choice CEO puts politics over women's lives & Romney declares he doesn't really care abt the very poor.Shame.
Thank you Planned Parenthood for being there to help the many foster teens we took in. The heck with Susan Komen group.
http://t.co/EqzIMSWm You can't make this up.Susan G. Komen is now selling pink handguns, you know, to help find the cure:
In the meantime, feel free to comment below on your thoughts about this ordeal. Maybe you like Komen's decision? Maybe you're enjoying the public relations gymnastics the charity is doing in order to contain the damage to their image? Or maybe you're just downright livid. At any rate, chime in below.
UPDATE: Well, that was timely. So what's the power of dominating a social media conversation to you?