Opposition Leader Tony Abbott
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott Vicki Wood

Social media swarms over Abbott's gay marriage comments

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott's description of same-sex marriage last week as the "fashion of the moment" and his on-air discussion with US singer Katy Perry about the topic generated a flurry of activity on social media, analysis by iSentia shows.

The company's BuzzNumbers social listening platform analysed the social media conversations surrounding same-sex marriage over the past seven days and found 50% of conversations were in favour of same-sex marriage, with a large majority of these criticising Mr Abbott's choice of language.

It also found a vast number of conversations discussed Ms Perry's confrontation with Mr Abbott on 2DayFM.

Only 10% of the sample was in favour of restricting gay marriage, iSentia found, while 40% of social media conversations were classified as neutral owing to Mr Abbott's quote being retweeted by a large number of journalists.

iSentia, formerly known as Media Monitors, analysed the keywords "same-sex marriage", "gay marriage" and "marriage equality" during the past week, following Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's pledge to bring forward legislation within 100 days if Labor is re-elected.

Despite Rudd championing the issue, 4700 mentions of same-sex marriage and 85% of conversations related to the Liberal party versus 15% to Labor - indicating a negative association with the Liberal brand on the issue of marriage equality.