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Fly generates most buzz from US VP debate

Fly generates most buzz from US VP debate thumbnail

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionThe most talked about guest to take to the stage was a highly unlikely candidate. If one measure of success is popularity on social media, the vice-presidential debate was a no-contest.Despite the candidates’ best efforts, nothing they said resonated with people online quite like the wanderings of…

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Media captionThe most talked about guest to take to the stage was a highly unlikely candidate.

If one measure of success is popularity on social media, the vice-presidential debate was a no-contest.

Despite the candidates’ best efforts, nothing they said resonated with people online quite like the wanderings of one unsuspecting insect.

For approximately two minutes, a fly landed on Vice-President Mike Pence’s head and became an instant internet celebrity.

The phrase “the fly” has been tweeted and retweeted more than 700,000 times since it appeared during the debate.

The Joe Biden campaign has taken full advantage of this, registering the domain “flywillvote.com”, while a picture of the candidate holding a fly swatter has been liked more than 500,000 times at the time of writing.

The fly has united people on both sides of the aisle, with one person labelling it “an American hero” and another calling it “probably the most memorable thing that happened“.

Former senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway called for the fly to be given a mail-in ballot, while Republican Senator Rand Paul joked it was evidence of spying as “the deep state planted a bug” on Mr Pence.

And the Merriam-Webster dictionary announced the word “fly” was trending on its website.

Myriad social media accounts have been created by people seeking to get in on the act, with one picking up more than 10,000 followers on Twitter.

Meanwhile, one person has drawn parallels to the last time a fly appeared during a presidential debate – four years ago, when it landed on the head of then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

There is no suggestion that this is the same fly.

But it was not all jokes, as conservative commentator Ben Shapiro suggested the fly was a way to distract from what happened during the debate.

For a more serious look at who won the debate, you can read Anthony Zurcher’s analysis here.

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