Political upheaval dominates Ireland's social media musings

Political upheaval dominated the year’s social media musings, according to Facebook which has revealed its most talked-about moments of 2016.

Elections here and in the US, and the UK’s Brexit vote were the top three most discussed topics among Facebook users in Ireland, with President-elect Donald Trump’s surprising victory beating our own general election into second place.

In what was a momentous sporting year, the Rio Olympics pipped the European exploits of the Boys In Green to fourth place.

As 2016 will be remembered as a year when many great artists left the stage, it’s no surprise to see David Bowie’s passing was the sixth most talked about story of the year.

The centenary of the Easter Rising ranked seventh, ahead of the All-Ireland, Rose of Tralee, and the Six Nations.

The events were ranked by how frequently a topic was mentioned in Facebook posts made between January 1 and November 27 — meaning that more recent events such as the Late Late Toy Show do not make the list.

Gareth Lambe, head of Facebook Ireland, said users go to social media to discuss the issues and events that matter most to them.

“The range of topics in this year’s top 10 shows the breadth of subjects discussed on Facebook, from elections to major sporting events and, of course, key moments on the Irish calendar like the All-Ireland finals,” he said.

“It was a big year for politics and it is no surprise that the top three most talked-about topics were the Irish and US elections and Brexit.

“During the summer, we had the Euros and Olympics — at which Ireland was well represented by both our athletes and supporters — with many stand-out moments captured on Facebook.

“The Easter Rising appears on the list demonstrating how people across Ireland took to Facebook to share their thoughts, videos, photos and experiences of the centenary celebrations.”

Politics also dominated globally — the US elections trumped all, beating Brazilian politics and the Pokémon Go craze into second and third place respectively.

The Black Lives Matter protests came fourth, followed by discussion of new Philipino president Rodrigo Duterte.

The Olympics were the sixth most talked about subject internationally, followed by Brexit and the Denver Bronco’s clash with the Carolina Panthers at SuperBowl 50. The passing of David Bowie and boxing great Muhammad Ali made up the top 10.

Candace Payne — best known as “Chewbacca Mom” who shot to fame when her reaction to a Star Wars mask went viral — was the star of Facebook Live’s most watched video.


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