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Alex Brandon / AP

Parts of fired FBI Director James Comey's Thursday Senate testimony were seen by 89 million people on Facebook. Nielsen estimates 19.5 million people saw it on live television.

Why this matters: The high-profile Congressional hearing (McCarthy, Iran-Contra, Anita-Hill) used to be prime spots for television. Now those audiences are shifting online. In addition to Facebook, 2.7 million people watched it on Twitter's Bloomberg co-branded livestream. (One caveat: a Facebook view can be as short as 3 seconds, so a direct comparison to TV ratings is inexact.)

The TV viewership was less than some historic television hearings: 85% of American TV households tuned in to the Watergate hearings and 55 million people watched the Iran-contra hearings over the course of a week

According to data analytics firm Chartbeat, more than 900,000 people were reading Comey-related articles across the web at any 5-minute interval throughout the 10:00 a.m. and 1:00p.m. hours on Thursday. Chartbeat also found that the amount of time spent (minutes per page) spiked by nearly 20% during the hearing, likely due to viewers keeping livestreams of the hearing open in their browsers. According to Chartbeat Head of Product and Engineering Josh Schwartz, Chartbeat measured similar spikes during the election.

Generational divide: On TV, the majority of 19.5 million viewers, according to Nielsen, were age 55+, but on Twitter, the majority (88%) of logged-in live viewers under the age of 35. Social Gut Check: Twitter estimates 3.6 million Tweets were sent from 7a.m.-1:30pm Thursday discussing Comey's testimony, which is small in comparison to the 27 million+ tweets sent during the Super Bowl this year. Facebook says there were 8 million comments, reactions, and shares on its platform in relation to the hearing on Thursday.

Go deeper

18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's latest executive order: Buy American

President Joe R. Biden speaks about the economy before signing executive orders in the State Dining Room at the White House on Friday, Jan 22, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden will continue his flurry of executive orders on Monday, signing a new directive to require the federal government to “buy American” for products and services.

Why it matters: The executive action is yet another attempt by Biden to accomplish goals administratively without waiting for the backing of Congress. The new order echoes Biden's $400 billion campaign pledge to increase government purchases of American goods.

Tech digs in for long domestic terror fight

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With domestic extremist networks scrambling to regroup online, experts fear the next attack could come from a radicalized individual — much harder than coordinated mass events for law enforcement and platforms to detect or deter.

The big picture: Companies like Facebook and Twitter stepped up enforcement and their conversations with law enforcement ahead of Inauguration Day. But they'll be tested as the threat rises that impatient lone-wolf attackers will lash out.

The pandemic could be worsening childhood obesity

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The 10-month long school closures and the coronavirus pandemic are expected to have a big impact on childhood obesity rates.

Why it matters: About one in five children are obese in the U.S. — an all-time high — with worsening obesity rates across income and racial and ethnic groups, data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show.

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