World Cup history was made July 8 when host country Brazil fell to Germany, 7-1. Predictably, people took to Twitter to lament or cheer Germany’s victory. What was slightly less anticipated was just how many times the word “Nazi” would be used over the course of the game.
Crimson Hexagon, a Boston-based social media analytics company, provided Boston.com with data on just how many times Twitter users referenced Hitler’s regime during a seemingly unrelated sporting event.
Crimson Hexagon identified 4,660 tweets referencing the World Cup and including the word “Nazi” (or “Nazis” or “Nazi’s”). But anyone who spent any time monitoring Twitter during the game knows that the majority of “Nazi” references that came as a result of Germany’s trouncing of Brazil did not specifically reference the game itself. For that reason, we opted to look at some broader data.
On July 7, the day before Brazil faced off against Germany, there were 14,108 tweets containing either the word “Nazi,” “Nazis,” or “Nazi’s.”
On July 8, the day of the match, the number of tweets containing “Nazi” references skyrocketed to 95,669.
(Clearly, some of the 95,000 tweets were from Twitter users admonishing others for derogatory tweets.)
The term “Nazi” wasn’t the only reference that saw a surge in mentions as a result of the game.
On July 7, tweets mentioning “Blitzkrieg” or “Hitler” numbered 16,219.
On game day, that number shot up to 94,892.
An hourly breakdown of “Nazi” (and related) tweets before, during, and after the July 8 World Cup game:
The peak hour of tweets containing the word “Nazi” or “Nazis” came as Germany scored again and again on what appeared to be a defenseless Brazil team.
And the winner for most offensive tweet of them all is Malaysian MP Bung Mokhtar Radin, member of the dominant United Malays National Organization, who tweeted this to congratulate Germany on its win:
WELL DONE..BRAVO...LONG LIVE HITLER...— Bung Moktar Radin (@MyKinabatangan) July 8, 2014