A case that has had media coverage for over three years has finally come to an end. Casey Anthony was acquitted Tuesday for the murder of her two-year old daughter Caylee. The reactions to the case were documented by several social media marketing companies, and social media was the way to share your opinion about the verdict.

Verdict Causes Traffic Spike

The Internet saw a huge traffic spike when the verdict was first announced. This graph illustrates the red line the negative sentiment that was portrayed over the Internet, while the green line shows positive sentiment toward the verdict.casey anthony verdict

CNN.com reported as having over 1 million viewers watching the verdict live from their site alone, along with 12 million users on their page—more than four times the usual traffic.

The Role of Social Networks

The Internet as a whole experienced the spike, but social media networks especially felt the impact of the decision. Twitter users went wild following the verdict, sharing their opinions regarding the jury’s decision. Interestingly enough, there were also death wishes included in the trending Twitter topics.

Over 1,000 Tweets were sent out with the hashtag #ABCCasey, and the network’s Facebook page received 45% more views than normal.

Has Media Coverage Changed?

Another trending topic in the social media sphere has been that of the OJ Simpson case back in 1995. Is this case a repeat of history? Clearly the implications are not exactly the same, but one can’t help but remember these controversial jury decisions.

However, an interesting observation was made by Emily Banks at Mashable.com. She noted that many of the local newspapers covering the case updated their Facebook pages and Twitter feeds before even updating their newspaper home page.  In her words, “Facebook is the new newspaper front page.”

Although controversial court cases will come and go, it is interesting to recognize how we react and respond to these events. With OJ Simpson over a decade ago, astounded viewers watched the verdict from their television screens and discussed it face-to-face with their neighbors or via telephone. And now with the Casey Anthony case, social media networks make it possible for a worldwide discussion to take place, just moments after the verdict has been announced.

Jamie Bates