Mar 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

America gets a much-needed distraction with Suez ship saga

Social media mentions of select news topics
Data: Keyhole; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The ship stuck in the Suez Canal brought a change of pace to the news cycle last week, with an estimated 1.8 million social media posts and 25 billion potential impressions, according to data from Keyhole.

Why it matters: After a prolonged period of domestic turmoil — COVID, polarized politics, a racial reckoning, an insurrection and a crisis at the border, the internet rallied around a common cause: freeing the boat.

By the numbers: Social media activity around the stuck boat surpassed other major topics last week, including the migrant crisis, March Madness and debate about the filibuster.

Between the lines: While the incident had major ramifications for the global economy, much of the online activity was lighthearted and meme-driven.

  • Google even added an animation of parading boat emojis above the search results for queries about the Suez Canal.
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