By Angela Moon and Melissa Fares
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Republican presidential contender Donald Trump’s demand that the U.S. stop allowing Muslims into the United States lit up social media on Tuesday, as critics of the proposal around the world took to Twitter and Facebook to express their outrage.
Outside of the United States, there were about 4.2 negative mentions for every positive one on social media regarding Trump, according to data provided by Zoomph, an analytics platform that tracks and aggregates social media mentions. Within the country, there were about 3.2 negative mentions per a single positive mention.
Sentiment towards the outspoken billionaire candidate on Twitter fell sharply, Thomson Reuters data showed, down to negative 12.3 from an average of about negative 5 before his proposal regarding Muslims on Monday afternoon.
Muslims in Pakistan and Indonesia, denounced Trump’s call for the ban, dismissing him as a bigot who promoted violence.
In Indonesia, home to the world’s largest Muslim population, Twitter user @aulia, said: “Donald Trump has made America dangerous. He doesn’t need to win to turn the US into Nazi Germany.”
In Europe, a Twitter user identified as @frauke1983 wrote: “Let’s say Donald Trump is not allowed to travel to Europe … forever”
For more reaction on Twitter, see: http://www.reuters.com/subjects/trump-reaction#2bBQKEO5CoZbOiwp.97
FIVE U.S. STATES DOMINATE TRUMP TRAFFIC
In the United States, just five states accounted for more than half the American Twitter traffic on Trump, according to Keyhole, a real-time social media analytics tool. The biggest buzz came from New York state, home of one of the largest Muslim populations in the country and the origin of 15 percent of all mentions of Trump.
California followed with 14 percent of the volume, while Texas grabbed the No. 3 spot with 12 percent. Virginia and Georgia, at 5 percent each, rounded out the top five states.
Worldwide, U.S. mentions of Trump accounted for 58 percent of the total, with Canada a distant second with 5 percent and Germany at No. 3 with 4 percent.
The Republican presidential front-runner’s proposal prompted a torrent of criticism from both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates, the White House, senior Obama administration officials and congressional leaders that continued on Tuesday.
On Twitter, the most popular hashtags associated with the outspoken billionaire candidate following his proposal were #TrumpisnotmyAmerica and #DontVoteTrump.
More typically, hashtags most popularly associated with Trump are #Trump, #Trump2016, #DonaldTrump and #MakeAmericaGreatAgain, according to online research firm Hashtagify.me.
This was not the first time Trump has made controversial comments during his campaign. But it was the most dramatic response by a candidate yet to last week’s shooting spree in San Bernardino by two Muslims who the FBI said had been radicalised.
Outside of the United States, the topic “Donald Trump” and “Muslims” were searched the most in Kenya, Panama and Puerto Rico, according to Google Trends.
An image of Trump with his arm raised, directly comparing him to Adolf Hitler, also trended heavily.
A number of Tweets posited that Trump’s remark was his “jumping the shark” moment, suggesting it could mark the peak of the outspoken billionaire’ s meteoric climb in popularity in the race for the Republican nomination for president.
“The shark has been jumped. #trump,” Tweeted MSNBC programme “Morning Joe” co-host Joe Scarborough. That tweet generated more than 100 retweets.
(Reporting by Angela Moon; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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