Social Media Analysis Shows Range of Reactions to GSA Scandal

In what began as the resignation of General Services Administration (GSA) administrator Martha Johnson ahead of an investigation into the misappropriation of $822,000 in taxpayer dollars for a lavish retreat in Las Vegas, has evolved into a full blown scandal extending to top executives at the agency tasked with preventing government corruption. At the center of it all is Jeffrey Neely, a senior executive at the organization who appears to have misused funds for a family vacation, under the auspices they were “scouting” trips, where he racked up over $40,000 in expenditures. With the economy still recovering and taxes high, the American taxpayer is, suffice it to say, up in arms over the imbroglio.

Crimson Hexagon social media analysis of GSA scandal

Crimson Hexagon analyzed the over 7,500 opinions on Twitter to discover that, despite the negative circumstances surrounding the situation, much of the blame wasn’t aimed directly at the GSA itself, but rather big government as a whole, in some instances specifically targeting President Obama.

  • At 13%, many felt that the failings at the agency were the responsibility of President Obama and reflected a failure in leadership; additionally many bemoaned the Whitehouse’s pivoting to blame the issue on the Bush administration.
  • 12% of the conversation that encompassed “general negative” include social media conversation expressing incredulousness or disbelief at the situation as a whole.
  • 11% saw this as another example of wasteful government spending, with some recalling Solyndra and others mentioning the First Family’s numerous vacations.
  • The remaining 8% feel this reinforces the notion that government spending should be cut and taxes lowered.

Yet amidst the outcry, 22% of the conversation, while not supportive of the administrators’ actions, is supportive of steps that could be taken related to retribution.

  • 8% of tweets claimed they wanted some retribution to come out of the incident, not reimbursement for their tax dollars, simply restitution.
  • Another 8% feel that “ousting the executives” and cleaning up the powers that be will fix the problem.
  • And 6%, interestingly enough, came to the defense of other government workers, assuming the stance that “the actions of the few, do not reflect the many.”

The middle of the road conversations, measuring 33%, focused on spreading news surrounding the General Services Administration Scandal, which accounts for 23% of that conversation, while neutral conversation accounts for 10%.

What are your thoughts? Are you as outraged as the rest of the Twitterverse and think the agency should be shuttered or do think a few bad apples shouldn’t spoil the bunch? Tweet us @crimsonhexagon and let us know your thoughts.

As always, we’ll continue our social media analysis for interesting trends. In the meantime, feel free to contact us at info@crimsonhexagon.com with questions or to learn how your market, brand or product could benefit from leveraging the Crimson Hexagon ForSight™ platform for social media monitoring and analysis. Want to see the Crimson Hexagon platform in action? Request a Live Online Demo.

Sean Finn also contributed to this post


Written by Wayne St Amand

Wayne St. Amand is a veteran marketing leader with a track record of significantly accelerating the growth trajectory and valuation of technology businesses. At Crimson Hexagon, St. Amand is responsible for driving business expansion through the company's global corporate and product marketing efforts.

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