Year in review 2015

Facebook’s year in review: Crisis makes conversation

Terrorist attacks, earthquakes, and racial tension make Facebook’s list of most-discussed topics.

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When it comes to doom and gloom, Facebook users have a lot to say.

That’s one takeaway, at least, from Facebook’s 2015 Year in Review. To create a list of the most popular conversation topics, the social network looked at aggregate, anonymized data from all of this year’s Facebook posts, and measured how frequently those topics came up. Here’s the global list of most talked-about topics:

  1. US Presidential Election
  2. November 13 Attacks in Paris
  3. Syrian Civil War & Refugee Crisis
  4. Nepal Earthquakes
  5. Greek Debt Crisis
  6. Marriage Equality
  7. Fight Against ISIS
  8. Charlie Hebdo Attack
  9. Baltimore Protests
  10. Charleston Shooting & Flag Debate

That’s a lot of war, death, and tragedy. But the trends weren’t all so negative. Looking at just the United States, the Super Bowl and Star Wars: The Force Awakens managed to sneak onto the top 10 topics list. And in terms of places discussed, Americans loved to talk about theme parks (with Disney properties topping the list), national parks like the Grand Canyon, and landmarks like Times Square.

Facebook’s Year in Review had a few surprises as well. Ed Sheeran, for instance, was a more talked-about artist globally than Taylor Swift, and despite Donald Trump’s increasingly controversial comments, President Barack Obama remains the most discussed politician.

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The full lists are available as downloads from Facebook’s website.

Why this matters: Granted, anyone who uses Facebook should recognize that these topics don’t necessarily dominate discussion on the network. Baby photos, personal achievements, and local happenings are just as common. But unless Facebook starts dedicating categories to these broad topics, global unrest and despair should continue to lead the way.

This story, "Facebook’s year in review: Crisis makes conversation" was originally published by PCWorld.

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