The trending topics in July: Terrorism, Trump & Pokémon GO

3 August 2016 11:59 by Danny van Zon in Trending, Data Research

The trending topics in July: Terrorism, Trump & Pokémon GO

July was a rumerous month on social media. A month with big sport events such as EURO 2016 and the Tour de France that was overshadowed by terrorism. How did the Dutch respond to this on social media?


Sadly, July was filled with terrorism. The world was shocked by the terrorist attacks last month and this shows on social media. The graph below shows the activity and sentiment of some of the terrorist attacks of July. I also included the terrorist attack in Istanbul which took place at the end of June. 

The terrorist attack in Nice on Bastille Day clearly had the most impact on the Dutch. A massive peak in messages with a strongly negative sentiment appears around the time of the attack. A web-page by the Dutch Red Cross is an example of a link that was shared a lot by the Dutch social media users. The web-page made it possible to indicate if you were safe.

The American presidential elections

July was also the month of the democratic and republican conventions in the United States. At these conventions Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were formally chosen as presidential candidates for their parties. The American presidential elections are followed by people from all over the world and this shows itself in almost a quarter of a million social media messages in the Netherlands about the American elections, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. But what are these messages about?

Trump versus Hillary

Which candidate did the Dutch mention the most? Donald Trump and his unorthodox speeches seems to evoke the most buzz on Dutch social media. The Republican candidate is mentioned nearly twice the as much as his Democratic opponent. For Trump the speech of his wife Melania Trump was discussed the most. For Hillary Clinton the words ‘FBI’, ‘mails’ and her husband Bill Clinton were discussed the most.

Melania Trump

Social went crazy over Melania Trump’s speech. Donald Trump’s wife spoke about her husband during the Republican congress. The speech however, looked quite similar to the speech Michelle Obama gave in 2008 about her husband Barack Obama. See for yourself:


Shortly after the speech the hashtag #FamousMelaniaTrumpQuotes was born and used by social media users from all over the world to mock Melania Trump and her speech. The hashtag was shared thousands of times in the Netherlands and generated close to 200 million Twitter impressions.

When we zoom in on this hashtag the messages also show that a Tweet from Donald Trump after his wifes speech also looked similar to a tweet by Barack Obama from four years ago. The list of most shared links shows us a nice overview of some popular posts: 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Pokémon GO

Pokémon GO was the game many of us played last month. The game is downloaded more than 100 million times. A lot of people however played the game before it was officially released in their country. Pokémon GO was such a trend that, in the Netherlands, it was more discussed than the American elections. Some statistics about this social buzz:

  • More than 416.000 Pokémon GO related messages were sent last month in the Netherlands.
  • 22% of these messages has a positive sentiment. 8% has a negative sentiment.
  • 44% of the Pokémon GO authors is male and 30% is female.
  • Twitter, Facebook and forums are the biggest sources of messages
  • More than 4 billion Twitter impressions were generated


With the final rounds of EURO 2016, the Tour de France and the run-up to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro July was a month filled with sports.

The Tour de France made for over 200.000 social media messages and EURO 2016 resulted in more than 840.000 messages. The run-up to the Olympics resulted in almost 100.000 messages in July.

Some of the trending topics for these events are:

  • Iceland was the big surprise of EURO 2016 and this shows in the trending topics for EURO 2016. After words as EK (European Championships), Match and man the word Iceland was used the most for EURO 2016.
  • The Dutch cyclist Tom Dumoulin brought the Netherlands two victories in the Tour de France. This resulted in a lot of social media buzz in the Netherlands which rose even further when the cyclist fell and fractured a bone.
  • A massive Russian doping scandal became big news in July. A WADA-report showed structural doping use and suggested a total ban of Russian athletes during the Olympics. Ultimately, a collective ban of all Russian athletes did not happen.
  • Those who watched the EURO 2016 final between France and Portugal probably noticed the moths during the final. When one of these moths landed on Cristiano Ronaldo’s face the popular Twitter account @CristianosMoth was born and generated a lot of buzz.


  • Cyclist Chris Froome managed to win the Tour de France last month. The Britt had to provide a lot of labour to achieve this though. Both with and without his bike. Froome running on the Mont Ventoux resulted in quite the amount of social buzz. Of course, not all of this buzz was completely serious.


So far some of the trending topics on social media for July. What did you notice last month?


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