Rob Ford caused a worldwide social media explosion


New research shows that people were talking about Toronto Mayor Rob Ford on social media. A lot.

According to Toronto-based Marketwired data, which was provided exclusively to CityNews, Rob Ford was mentioned on social media more than 1.5 million times since Toronto police chief Bill Blair’s Oct. 31 press conference where he confirmed that the crack-cocaine video first mentioned in May was, indeed, real.

To compare, former Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ death generated about 2.5 million tweets in the 13 hours after his death.

While people in Ontario were tweeting the most, the Ford echo was heard around the globe. The below map shows the counties where tweets originated.

Along with original tweeting about Rob Ford, there was much re-tweeting.

The tweet mentioning Rob Ford with the most retweets came from Kevin Farley, the brother of the late comedian Chris Farley. He garnered more than 12,000 retweets when he said this:

Apparently many agree, including a YouTube user who has added one more Rob Ford social media entry with this video, a fake trailer for a Rob Ford movie starring none other than Chris Farley.

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Rob Ford caused a worldwide social media explosion

  1. And if Ford kills himself….?

    • That’s when we start self-accusing like conscience-stricken crybabies, as though we had no right to ridicule, denounce, and condemn a man deliberately attempting to destroy our system of government.

      • Or admitted to being web bullies…a mob….jeering at an elected mayor…instead of following due process.

        It isn’t Zen you know….it’s high school.

        • Lord, you are contrarian to the tips of your fingerbones.

          There wouldn’t be a mob if the police or province would act.

          • Um….isn’t that what every mob uses as an excuse?

          • Emily,

            It’s so much easier to express horror and empathy at the death of one individual you know than it is to express the same feelings for the deaths of large numbers you don’t know.

            Rob Ford cancelled funding for AIDS prevention projects. He claimed this was because “only gays get it”.

            I am gay. I am (thankfully) HIV-. This is because when Iw as young, someone talked to me about HIV and how to prevent it. But Rob Ford will not fund projects to tell other gay men (especially younger gay men) how to save their own lives.

            What if they die, Emily? You’ll never meet them. You probably won’t be aware of it when and if they do die. But their lives are just as valuable as Rob Ford’s.

            And that makes him something worse than a cyber bully.

            Rob Ford must go. He should go to rehab, clean up, and start leadinga healthy life. I don;t wish him any harm. But I do wish he would stop harming others. And for that to happen, he must leave the Mayor’s Office.

          • I said long time ago that Rob Ford personally was white trash.

            However, beyond the man…..there is an office, and due process.

            He was elected mayor….he has not been unelected mayor.

            Either we are a nation of laws….or of mob rule.

            The mob has prevailed in the Senate….will it prevail in Toronto as well?

          • I am not sure about the mob prevailing in the senate. Once criminal charges are pressed, an official should have to take a leave…whether they are elected or not. All three of them are facing criminal charges…..we are a nation of laws and for that reason we don’t reward people who accept bribes, commit fraud and beat their girlfriends.

          • None of them have been charged as far as I know…..Brazeau has for other reasons……but they’re being investigated

            In any case, a charge is not a conviction. And suspended with pay was a better option.

          • Wright and Duffy haven’t been charged yet? I see where Wallin is being investigated by the RCMP for allegations of fraud, etc. Yes, I would agree to suspension with pay for all three for now.

          • Not as far as I know…..mind you every time I check National Newswatch there’s a new headline with some other scandal.

          • Yes, another senator is in a scandal today….accused of sexual harassment.

          • Well if the story I read is true, it’s not harassment it’s assault.

          • A nation of laws, yes. And for that reason, it cannot be allowed that an elected official should be exempt from the laws that bind everyone else.

            Mayor Ford has openly violated those laws. he can serve out the rest of his term as mayor in prison.

          • He hasn’t been either charged or convicted.

          • So crack is now legal???????

          • Cops say there’s not enough evidence.

          • He admitted to it. How much more evidence do you need?

          • Why are you asking me? I’m not the police chief.

          • How do I know that?

          • Council has legally taken away powers that it had the legal right to bestow in the first place. Statutory powers (conferred by the Province of Ont via the City of Toronto Act) remain intact. Council exercising its statutory powers is NOT mob rule.

          • Council punishing someone when they’ve been neither charged nor convicted is mob rule.

            Remember….this is politics. Damaging or removing an opponent and looking like a ‘good guy’….gets votes.

            So their motive….isn’t exactly saintly.

          • Its legal. Thats more than I can say for illicit drug use, sexual harassment, prostitution and assault.

          • I would have more sympathy for this argument if it had been only his political enemies who voted against him. But finally, even his allies had had enough.

          • Well….it’s not an argument…it’s the law. And the allies didn’t have much backbone.

          • You’re assuming the councillors broke some law. That is yet to be determined…if Ford goes ahead with a law suit. But if they only removed powers granted by council in the first place, which makes them privileges, not rights, then I can’t see what law was transgressed.

          • No the councillors didn’t break any law. But since Ford was elected to the position we should be upset at rival politicians trying to remove him or make his job difficult just because they don’t like him.

        • You know Emily, you are being very insightful and pretty empathetic.

          • I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.

          • Hahaha.

          • Now you sound like Rob Ford. Apologizing for everything.

      • What I don’t understand is when the police followed him on all those occasions and he guzzled alcohol in his truck, why didn’t they just follow him one last time and pull him over for driving under the influence. It would have been a slam dunk with a camera on the dash board and him guilty of a criminal charge (DUI or refusing to blow). He would have likely gone off to rehab at the very least and they would have had a crack video as leverage too.

    • Ford is an adult who should have resigned ages ago. This is earned criticism not bullying.

      • He should resign because some people don’t like his manners?

        Is that how we run our country now?

        • Why are you bullying Serendipity Zen? Is that how we run our comment boards now?

          (You see, anybody’s expressed opinion can be construed as bullying if you just whine loudly enough.)

          Serendipity Zen hasn’t been charged by the police, he hasn’t been convicted of anything, and still you question him? Have you thought of his feelings? The feelings of a fellow citizen? Or are you against democracy suddenly?

          • Kindly stop being an ass.

          • Those are your own asinine arguments on Ford.

          • No, they are not.

          • Yes they are indeed. Criticizing Ford? You don’t respect democracy! Ridiculing Ford? You’re a bully! We should all remember those next time — like in about three minutes — you go all-in attacking Harper, the duly elected PM with lots of feelings for you to hurt. Or you could abandon this BS pro-Ford line you’ve adopted on a whim.

          • Why are Cons functionally illiterate?

            It is one thing to criticize a politician….it is quite another to punish him for something he hasn’t even been charged with.

            Ridiculing him is one thing….mob behavior quite another

            And I’ll repeat again that I personally consider Ford white trash…..however law is the cornerstone of our society, and you don’t just throw that out on a whim.

          • a) I’m not a Con.
            b) Ford has admitted to everything. Crack, gangsters – well, not the groping and the sexual harassment, I guess. Pre-video and pre-Lisi, it might have been termed a whim. Now it’s a question of whether an admitted (if not convicted) criminal should be congratulated on not yet being behind bars.
            c) When everybody ridicules a ridiculous man, it looks like mob behaviour — that’s the correct, Canadian spelling, incidentally — because for once in our national life it’s as plain as day, nearly universally acknowledged, that a politician is a serious threat to the dignity of the state.
            d) He hasn’t been thrown out. He’s been stripped of those powers that Council was pleased to bestow on his office in the first place. If he’s thrown out, it will be by the provincial government that is authorised to do so. But it will also be because of popular pressure — that most undemocratic element in our society, apparently — to remove him.

          • And they had no legal right to do any of it….since he hasn’t been charged much less convicted of anything.

            Being a ‘serious threat to the dignity of the state’….is an absurd statement.

            The provincial govt currently has no mechanism to throw him out.

            If there is ‘popular pressure’ to make him PM, will you like that too? Or will you insist on proper procedure and the rule of law?

          • I don’t think you understand what democracy is. It’s not just elections and the legitimacy they bestow, it’s political players responding **while in office** to popular sentiment.

            What do you mean they had no legal right to strip the mayor of his powers? They did indeed have the legal right! They exercised it! You do not need to be convicted of . . . what, exactly? in order to be impugned and dismissed by actors vested with the power to do so.

            Anyway, so what if he were convicted? So what if he took out a machine gun in Nathan Philips Square and started mowing people down? Would that strip him of democratic legitimacy? He would still have been elected. Would you support his being mayor, post-massacre, during the three-year period before he his third appeal?

            Anyway, by your own lights all 6000+ posts you have made on these boards are invalid, because they tend to attack the elected government, and criticising the conduct or morality of a public figure is suddenly, in your eyes, illegitimate. Unless we assume you are posting in bad faith, as usual.

          • Whut?

            Look pal, I know it’s TGIF…..but don’t take it out on me!

            In fact….go to bed. Your mind needs the reboot.


      • Let’s face it, criticism usually is a little tamer. It doesn’t involve global shaming. That part does reek of bullying.

        • Bullying a bully is not bullying, it’s standing up for his victims.

          • Do you know that most bullies were bullied themselves at one point. It is a non-ending cycle. Bullying is never the right thing to do.

        • Aha. Well then, you should write to every TV comedian in the world and tell them of your disapproval. I am certain they will be moved.

          • No, I doubt they will. They make their money this way. It doesn’t mean I can’t feel bad for his wife and kids.

          • His wife and kids deserve sympathy. The man himself needs help. Part of that help is levering him out of office and out of the public eye so he can put himself back together.

          • Agreed on all counts.

    • We certainly have to hope neither he or any of his family makes that choice.

      • We do? Since when?

        • You would be okay if his wife or children committed suicide?

          • No, they are blameless as far as I’m concerned, and I would feel sympathy for Ford if he and his fellow nihilists were not actively trying to destroy our public life.

          • Hmm. That is a real concern, as we saw when Bernie Madoff’s son killed himself.

            No, I don’t want any harm to come to the family at all. I do think the wife and children would be better served if they were to be left alone by the press. Perhaps they should consider a name change and relocation to another part of Canada, some place where they will not be recognized when going about daily business.

            Rob should not accompany them. He needs drug treatment, and then a few years of counseling to get over whatever it is that brought him to this state to begin with, before he can reunite with his family. By then, the media furore will have died down, and they can all go on.

  2. When will the media quit bullying Rob Ford?
    They generally run their pieholes pretty well non stop against bullying except when it’s their own bullying….
    Maybe they are too stupid to look in a mirror?

    • There’s bullying of the innocent and then there’s kicking at a guy who richly deserves to be kicked.

  3. Will liberal senators accused of sexual harrassment get their own section here or will they be relegated to the hidden pages?

  4. Look at all the bullies on this blog! It’s time to break the cycle kids.