From Xbox Live's real-time polling to the hilarious, hot-headed commentary on Twitter, the debate about the debate unfolded on social media channels last night -- often in uproarious virtual fashion.
Near the end, the hashtag #debate had 72.9 million reads and was attached to 23,000 tweets from 19,000 users, counting from 24 hours earlier, according to Hashtracking.
Reviews of the first-ever Xbox Live debate stream were mostly positive. "Technology, nerdery and social consciousness collide!" wrote the Twitter user @Dahiaka.
The Commission on Presidential Debates partnership with AOL, YouTube and Yahoo got off to a slow start, with few users jumping on the platform to voice their views.
On Facebook's U.S. politics page, reporters from Politico interviewed Colorado pols and held live discussions on the future of the media in a debate pre-show. Online users were able to ask questions via a "Talk to Us" button on Facebook which flowed in live to the panelists via iPads.
Twitter began aggregating commentary from political insiders on its own debate page, pulling content like Sean Hannity's contention that "Romney is schooling Obama" as well as the growing "Romney hates Big Bird" meme born from the former Bay State governor's vow to defund PBS.
Factcheck.org turned its Twitter page into an instant truth squad, calling out Romney for saying he could cut taxes without raising the deficit, and Obama for saying he'd hike taxes on the rich to no more than they paid under President Clinton.
Even the empty chair Clint Eastwood unloaded on at the RNC made Twitter: "Shhhh...sneaking in a little late to the debate. Don't mind me."
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