Study: Use of White House's #My2K more negative than positive

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Senior White House officials began using the hashtag on Wednesday as a means to promote their position on the tax rate debate, and Obama touted the hashtag in a speech around mid-day.

But about 53 percent of the tweets sent using the hashtag in a 24-hour period were critical of Obama’s tax proposal and fiscal policies, according to the analysis. Of the remaining tweets using the hashtag, the largest percentage — 26 percent — were news-oriented and didn’t take a side. Just 21 percent of the #My2K tweets were positive.  

The positive #My2K tweets broke down nearly evenly in answering the question posed by the White House — “What does $2,000 mean to you?” — and a defense of Obama’s fiscal policy, Crimson Hexagon found.

The Twitter hashtag has become a popular new tool in political battles where public opinion is key, and it has become just as common for the  opposition to appropriate a hashtag campaign. The #My2K hashtag campaign was still a qualified success judging by the standard of raising awareness of the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations and likely helped the Democrats negatively define the Republicans’ position.

But conservatives successfully pushed back with their side of the debate. The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, paid to promote a response that showed up in any search for the #My2K hashtag. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other Republican members of Congress also used the hashtag to respond.

Republicans want to extend all current tax rates at the end of this year, when the George W. Bush-era rates are set to expire. The White House refuses to negotiate any plan that does not allow the rates on annual family incomes of more than $250,000 to expire.

#My2K remained a national trend on Twitter most of the day on Wednesday, meaning thousands of people were using it every minute. Crimson Hexagon found that within the first 24 hours of the campaign, more than 100,000 tweets had been sent using the hashtag, and it is still in use on Thursday.