A movie promotion, the promotion of a cause and a piece of art where the three most retweeted items in the Australian Twittersphere this week according to Which-50.com’s weekly retweet report.
There were over 4.6 million retweets this last but that was a small decline on the previous week but still higher than the regular activity level which usually sits around the 3 million mark (the report excludes some terms – mostly boy band fan pages – so we can get a better sense of what is bubbling away under the surface.)
The most popular retweet this week was the trailer for Marvel’s Captain America Civil War which attracted 62,000 retweets and 53,000 favourites or “likes” as Twitter now insists we call them. It would be interesting, if anyone has the data, to run an analysis of the relationship between social media activity and box office success.
The second most popular retweet this week was a piece of social hactivism directed at the pharmaceutical giant @Merck. The tweet by @RDiscoveries reference an ongoing dispute between the PFS Foundation and the Pharma. “@Merck http://www.pfsfoundation.org/news/daniel-m-stewart-1976-2014/ … This is just one of @Merck’s Propecia victims! He died because they lied!”
This pointed through to an article of the PFS Foundation web site about the death of Daniel Stewart from post-finasteride syndrome. Finasteride is used in the production of Propecia which they argue causes devastating sexual, neurological, and physical side effects.
Merck produces the male patter baldness drug Propecia. It is also prescribed for prostrate cancer, as is another stronger drug. Its position, outlined in a 2013 email to TheStar.com in Canada is that “The company acted responsibly and appropriately with respect to Propecia and Proscar throughout the development, marketing and post-marketing monitoring of these medicines.”
The company also argued there is no scientific data showing their drugs cause persistent impotence after discontinuing use.
Clinical trials are currently under way, funded by the PFS Foundation.
Finally, and perhaps most unusually, a piece of art made it to the top of the list. The image, shared by Alessandra Bertuzzo (@GuernseyJuliet) is of a painting by Johanna Harmon called Silk Robe.
Bertuzzo, an art lover and former museum worker has only a small following in Twitter (1735 followrs … well 1736 now) but this is a good demonstration of Twitter’s ability to distribute anyone’s message widely. More information about Harmon, the artist (oh yeah and copyright holder) can can found here. Harmon herself is inactive on Twitter, having only tweeted once – on the day she established her account on the 21st of April 2009.
She wrote, “Just signed up to twitter, and have no idea if I’ll use it!” As a piece of post modern expressionism, nothing could better capture the ongoing travails of the micro-blogging social network that this week gave her painting its moment in the sun.