Analyzing the use of #NeverForget on 9/11

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The date Sept. 11 has carried significance for the 16 years following the terrorist attacks carried out that day in 2001, which killed 2,977 people, according to CNN. Social media reflects that, as many people take time on that day to join the conversation in remembering the events and those lost. One of the more popular phrases associated with Sept. 11, both in social media and just in conversation, is #NeverForget.

Just how many?

Per the social media data analysis site Sysomos, more than 1.9 million users tweeted the phrase #NeverForget on Sept. 11, 2017. A wide variety of users joined the conversation, including politicians, sports teams and other public brands.

How fast did tweets spread?

The use of the hashtag peaked at 10 a.m. with about 117,300 tweets. The number of tweets got right under the 40,000 mark at 7 a.m and stayed past that mark through 11 p.m.

How far was the reach?

The majority of the tweets came from the United States, where 79.2 percent of the tweets originated. It makes sense, since the impact of the day affects mainly Americans. The next highest countries on the list were the United Kingdom (2.4) and Canada (2.3), which are the only countries with more than 2 percent of the tweet total.

What did people talk about?

Many social media users associated #NeverForget with the terrorist attacks, but, strangely enough, it seems that “September 10” — not “September 11” — was one of the phrases most associated with #NeverForget. Other words, like Twin Towers — the nickname of the World Trade Center — were very popular. Sadly, intolerant phrases such as #banislam were also used.


What was the most popular tweet?

Interestingly enough, the most popular tweet referencing #NeverForget came the day before the anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 10. It featured a photo of the World Trade Center from Sept. 10, 2011, the last full day the towers stood. The tweet had more than 67,500 retweets and 130,000 likes.

Group: Tomer Langer and Alexa Torrens

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8 thoughts on “Analyzing the use of #NeverForget on 9/11

  1. Tomer and Alexa, I love that you guys took the time to look into such a sensitive topic for this assignment. The way you organized your post was so easy to read and understand given the impactful content. The questioned subheadings added to the flow of the post and my thinking. The most popular tweet about the September 10th picture sent chills up my spine too.

  2. That last tweet is so powerful! Really unfortunate to see the Islamophobic sentiments that were attached and thus, spread because of the hashtag #NeverForget. This post reminds me so much of the Media & Terrorism Panel that we had in Newhouse. It was really interesting to learn about the intersections of media and how social media is now playing a role in preventing, covering, and even spreading terrorism.

  3. Wow, this post was incredible. 9/11 is always a topic that interests me to learn about because it affected so many Americans and you can always hear a new story from a new person’s perspective. The time of the tweets really interested me because people tweeted the most around the time that the towers went down. I also think the most popular tweet of the night before was just really powerful, it really struck me. It also interested me to see how many countries across the world tweeted about 9/11 because I think I would expect/understand people from Canada and Great Britain to tweet, but definitely not Japan or the Philippines. Overall, great job!

  4. Always a sensitive and difficult topic to write and read about, but this piece is really well done. It is very informative in terms of details and statistics surrounding the #NeverForget hashtag. It is amazing to see the widespread use of the hashtag on and around September 11th. Nick Short’s tweet was very powerful and emotional as well. Great job.

  5. This post was very interesting to me, as I of course noticed the hashtags going around Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook with #NeverForget on September 11. What stood out to me the most was that September 10 was more used than September 11; unfortunately, the Twin Towers were brought down on September 11, yet, it seemed that much of the internet audience started to use this hashtag to remember the beauty of the Twin Towers. Many people who used the hashtag seemed to remember everything that remained before the dreaded 9/11. After reading this post, it proves that there is positivity in the world, especially surrounding one of the saddest days in America.

  6. Tomer and Alexa, I think you did an excellent job of monitoring the social media surrounding this topic along with how it was presented in this blog post. The sentiment around the most popular tweet was great and a great addition to the blog post. I was not aware that a lot of the posts referenced September 10 instead of September 11, so it is interesting to see and analyze how people are choosing to remember the day. Your post was incredibly easy to read and flowed very nicely from one subheading to the next. This day is incredibly important in history and it is interesting to see how social media and this day interact and bring people together.

  7. You guys did a great job of reporting on a very difficult topic. I love the way your blog post tells a story, and I thought that this was very interesting. It was cool to see that globally people were interacting with this day and the hashtags of #neverforget, and it’s kind of a heartwarming read to see that there were mostly positive words on the word cloud. Great job!

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