Ahmed Mohamed is the the 14-year-old from Irving, Texas, arrested on Monday for taking a homemade clock to school.
He was hoping to impress his teachers with his ingenuity; unfortunately, the teachers and administrators thought the clock—a circuit board and power supply wired to a digital display and housed inside a pencil case—was a bomb.
Since the story about Ahmed’s arrest became news, the internet has rallied behind him, using the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed to show their support.
According to data from ListenFirst Media, #IStandWithAhmed was tweeted 1.3 million times and the profile @IStandWithAhmed mentioned 118,000 times. Mentions of both the hashtag and the profile peaked around noon on September 16.
Per Pixlee, #IStandWithAhmed has reached 56.8 million people across Twitter & Instagram. On Instagram, posts with the hashtag have gained 99,000+ likes.
Talkwalker also tracked #IStandWithAhmed, finding that the largest peak of mentions on Twitter happened at 11 a.m. ET Wednesday (81,008 mentions). Through 2 p.m. ET, the hashtag received 1,500 to 2,000 mentions per minute.
Perhaps one of the most telling and most Tweeted images from the fiasco is one of Ahmed wearing a NASA t-shirt with his hands cuffed behind him.
I expect they will have more to say tomorrow, but Ahmed’s sister asked me to share this photo. A NASA shirt! pic.twitter.com/nR4gt992gB
— Anil Dash (@anildash) September 16, 2015
Ahmed told the Dallas Morning News as he looked at a much-retweeted photo of himself in handcuffs:
I was really mad. I was like, ‘Why am I here?’
A Tweet from @ajplus, which included a video recapping the story with powerful quotes from Ahmed saying:
It made me feel like I wasn’t human; it made me feel like a criminal.
The Tweet from @IStandWithAhmed thanking the social media community for its overwhelming support received the second highest engagement, with more than 30,000 retweets and favorites.
Ahmed has since been released from jail and charges dropped, but that hasn’t stopped the outpouring of support. President Barack Obama invited him to the White House, Mark Zuckerberg invited him to Facebook, and Twitter offered him an internship.
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.
— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
Courtesy of Talkwalker, here’s a look at the top Facebook posts: