The crisis in Syria might be a global issue, but it’s Americans who are talking the most about it on Facebook, surpassing even those who live in the war-torn country. That’s according to worldwide user data the social network revealed to NBC News.
The data released this week
show that from August 31 to September 6, about 10 million posts mentioned Syria, making it one of the most talked-about issues of the week.
Sixty six percent of those posts came from inside the United States. And of that group, Facebook users in Washington, DC mentioned Syria the most, followed by users in the eastern state of New Jersey and the far northwestern state of Washington.
Despite the two-year-old war raging in their country, Syrians are still on Facebook. They made up the second biggest group talking about the conflict after people in the U.S. Facebook users in Lebanon, Gambia and Chad rounded out the top five conversationalists on the topic.
Wondering if men or women are talking more about Syria? According to Facebook, men are. The data show 67 percent of people posting about Syria in the U.S. were men, versus 33 percent women. Globally, 65 percent were men, while 35 percent were women.
Whether it's men or women, one thing is clear: Facebook has become such a critical platform for debate that even some members of Congress are asking their constituents to let them know how they feel about taking action in Syria.
Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin
of West Virginia solicited comments on Facebook, Twitter and plain old email, while also attending intelligence briefings, before he made up his mind not to support military action.
Purported members of the U.S. military also are using Facebook to weigh in on the debate. A photo montage
posted on the “Armed Forces Tea Party” Facebook page, a site established for military members who support the conservative party, expresses reservations about getting involved in another conflict.
The montage of men in uniforms, holding signs in front of their faces, has been shared nearly 2,000 times and stirred an angry response from other members of the military. The critics argue a soldier’s job is to serve; if they don’t want to, they can quit.
One thing that won’t quit in the coming weeks is the debate – online and off.