Terrorism fears top pre-SOTU Facebook chatter

Facebook users have been talking about terrorism more than any other topic ahead of Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

The social media company said Tuesday morning that terrorism topped the list of topics that users were discussing in the context of President Obama and his address over the period from Jan. 11 to Jan. 17.


Terrorism was talked about more than twice as much as the second most discussed topic, ObamaCare, Facebook said. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an Islamic extremist group that has dominated headlines in recent weeks, came in ninth on the list.

Third was immigration, followed by jobs and the economy, and Israel/Palestine, rounding out the top five.

The results are not great news for the White House, which had tried to push a message of economic populism ahead of Tuesday’s address. In recent days, the president has barnstormed the country with policy proposals to let students attend community college for free, guarantee paid sick leave and higher taxes on the wealthy to provide a tax cut to the middle class.

Those issues failed to register as high as other concerns, however.

Taxes came in sixth on the list of most talked about issues, followed by community college funding and the National Security Agency. At number 10 was the president’s proposal for paid sick leave.

The high impact of terrorism could be due to the high-profile terror attacks in Paris this month, as well as massacres in Nigeria and rising global fears about violence.

According to Facebook, women and men over 65 have been doing the most talking about Obama and the State of the Union in the days before the speech.