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How the Britney Spears hearing shook Twitter

#FreeBritney has garnered the support of a nation – at least that’s what it feels if you searched the hashtag on Twitter after the Britney Spears hearing on Wednesday. The campaign to release the pop star from her conservatorship, which appoints a guardian to care for an unfit individual, is millions of tweets strong.

To understand how the Britney Spears court hearing to dissolve the conservatorship has impacted the #FreeBritney conversation, we turned to text analysis. Using Relative Insight, we compared tweets mentioning Britney Spears before and after the hearing. 

Our text analysis technology will uncover the words, phrases, grammar, topic and emotion unique to a language set. This form of analysis helps us track sentiment over time, revealing how opinions have been impacted by a singular event.

After the Britney Spears hearing

The biggest bombshell Britney dropped at the hearing is her court-ordered IUD, which prevents her from having children. The statement made headlines, resulting in increased conversation on social media. Our analysis found significant mentions of the words IUD, birth control and sex across Twitter.

Public response to this confession was bad – to say the least. Tweets mentioned words like disgusting, horrifying and horrific when commenting on Britney’s conservatorship and forced birth control. Beyond that, Twitter users called Britney’s conservatorship evil, inhumane and abusive. 

Image: Insight card

The entire situation was characterized as toxic (no pun intended) and exploitative. This extreme language demonstrates a visceral response to the news. The public went straight to Twitter after reading media coverage of Britney’s testimony.

The emotive reaction we initially observed was shock. Tweets used words like wow, bombshell and omg. Britney’s testimony was unexpected, leaving the public shocked by the restrictive conservatorship. Beyond shock, we observed a sad emotive response from the public. Words like cry, heartbreaking and saddest were commonly used to describe feelings towards Britney’s situation. 

Image: Insight card

Twitter praised Britney for her bravery and courage in coming out against her conservatorship. Many users felt proud of the badass pop star for publicly disclosing the truth after years of silence. As a prominent public figure, fans feel a personal relationship with Britney – resulting in widespread empathy.

Tracking public response to current events provides an understanding of sentiment and opinion. Not only did we observe emotional and opinionated responses – shock, sadness, pride – we were also able to pinpoint the most impactful pieces of information covered by the media. This form of analysis can be applied to events like product launches or public announcements to understand how conversation changes after a point in time.

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