With more than 4 million followers, President Chavez was one of the most active world leaders on twitter. When Vice President Maduro announced his death on Tuesday, it was no surprise that twitter erupted with tweets about Chavez.
Greenberg Quinlan Rosner collected all the tweets about Chavez before, during and after Maduro´s announcement of the president´s death. A closer look at twitter patterns during this period sheds some light on how twitter users reacted to an event that could change the fate of Venezuela and Latin America.
Within one minute of Maduro’s announcement of Chavez’s death, tweets mentioning Chavez jumped from hundreds to over 12,000 per minute.
The news about Chavez´s death generated interest on twitter well beyond Venezuela´s borders. Almost simultaneously, tweets about Chavez lit up Venezuela, most of Latin America, North America and Europe with similar intensity.
Even though Maduro accused the opposition of plotting to generate instability in Venezuela, the truth is that opposition leader Henrique Capriles Radonski did more to promote peace among twitter users than Maduro. After Capriles Radonski publicly expressed his condolences to Chavez´s family and called for peace and unity, twitter users were more likely to use the word “peace” on their posts than after Maduro´s announcement.
To conduct this study, we collected all tweets about Chavez since January 31st. We collected a total of 657,874 tweets. Results are based on census of twitter users.