"Thank you Joe Brandon"
How the internet reacted to Biden’s student debt cancellation move
On Wednesday, Joe Biden took the anticipated but unprecedented move of canceling thousands of dollars of student loan debt for millions of Americans. Then, things got weird. The internet erupted with reactions to the White House’s announcement, as baby boomer conservatives seethed on Facebook and Gen Z creators broke down the news for their audiences on TikTok. In this week’s FWIW, we’ll share some data on how the internet reacted to the President’s move.
By the numbers
FWIW, here were the top-spending political advertisers on Facebook + Instagram last week:
Conservative Americans for Prosperity and Americans for Prosperity Action were top spenders nationwide on Facebook ads last week. The Koch-backed organizations have run ads recently promoting several candidates for U.S. House, as well as boosting U.S. Senate candidates in NC, PA, and WI:
Rep. Charlie Crist won Florida’s Democratic Primary on Tuesday night to take on Gov. Ron DeSantis in November. The Congressman and famously non-sweating former Governor has been boosting news on Facebook to take on DeSantis and promote his liberal bonafides.
Meanwhile, here were the top political advertisers on Google platforms last week, including YouTube:
PA Attorney General and candidate for Governor Josh Shapiro was a top spender on Google and YouTube ads last week. Shapiro has been leading his opponent, far-right State Senator Doug Mastriano, and is pulling out all the stops to make sure he stays ahead. That includes this geographically-targeted YouTube ad attacking Mastriano for spending money on a white supremacist website. Pretty niche content right here:
… and here are the top political ad spenders on Snapchat so far this year:
From elsewhere online
Get those burner phones ready! The U.S. government has warned for quite a while that TikTok could be used by the Chinese government to collect personal data from Americans’ mobile devices. A new report shows that the viral app may be able to track every tap and keystroke users make anywhere on their phone. Political campaigns on the app should probably be like Kara Swisher.
Facebook users can’t get enough of Beto O’Rourke and John Fetterman. To see which other midterm candidates are receiving the most reactions, comments, and shares on their campaign’s Facebook posts, check out this roundup for premium FWIW subscribers >>
This week, the New York Times reported that a little-known Republican financier donated a casual $1.6 billion to a conservative dark money group - “among the largest single contributions” ever given to a political group. Nothing to see here.
Will there be a *Blue* Wave in 2022? Maybe not, but numerous political prognosticators have now stepped away from their predictions of a big red wave in November. The New York Times has some data on why pundits are bullish on Democrats’ chances.
The internet reacts to Biden’s student debt cancellation move
On Wednesday, Joe Biden took the anticipated but unprecedented move of canceling up to $10,000 of student loan debt for millions of Americans (and up to $20,000 for pell grant recipients). The action will have a meaningful impact on people’s lives and has the potential to invigorate millions of younger voters just 11 weeks out from Election Day.
How did the news land on social media? Well, it depends on the site - on Facebook, major conservatives seethed, while on Instagram and TikTok, millennials and Gen Zers rejoiced and broke down the news.