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#BlackLivesMatter, #PokemonGo, and #2016Election Lead the Year on Twitter

What spreads on Twitter is a good barometer of the world’s obsessions. Of course, these obsessions tend to get overcooked and blown out of proportion on the platform, but they nevertheless tell us what captures our attention.

Throughout 2016, people talked about celebrity deaths and augmented reality, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Conversations revolved around dueling visions of politics and soccer rivalries. There was plenty of vitriol spewed on the platform, but there was also plenty of love. 

Here’s a look back at the top Twitter conversations of 2016 and what Global Citizen had to say on each topic.   

10) “Game of Thrones”

GOT cast IRC refugee appeal arya HERO.png

For a series with such a devoted audience, “Game of Thrones” has no problem dashing expectations and killing off favorite characters. Most of these tweets were probably drafted with outrage. 

Game of Thrones Cast Wants This for Year Six (of Syria)

9) RIP

AP_Prince_HERO.jpgImage: © AP Photo/Liu Heung Shing

The world lost Prince, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Gene Wilder, Muhammad Ali, and many more stars in 2016. People all around the world came together to mourn and share their memories. 

Tributes that Prove David Bowie Ch-ch-changed the World

Remembering Prince's Innovation and Impact on the World

Remembering the "Pure Imagination" of Gene Wilder

8) Trump

Donald TrumpImage: AP

Basically nobody expected Trump to become president. Then he did. 

Donald Trump Will Be the 45th President of the United States

Muslim Women Ask Trump #CanYouHearUsNow?

‘Not My President’ Rings Across Major Cities as People Protest Trump

7) Black Lives Matter

640px-Black_Lives_Matter_protest.jpgImage: Flickr: The All-Nite Images

For the past two years, the simple plea of “Black Lives Matter” has been perhaps the most prominent and divisive political issue in the US and around the world.

What Black Lives Matter and the Global Goals Have in Common

Why Black Lives Matter Is a Global Issue

Reasons 7 Police Shooting Victims Were Stopped in the First Place

6) Brexit

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Nobody expected Brexit to happen. Then it did. 

After Brexit, I Feel Like a Foreigner in My Own Country

The Global Citizen Guide to Navigating the World Post-Brexit

5) Oscars

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The 2016 Oscars faced enormous backlash (#OscarsSoWhite) and triggered important discussions when the nominations for best performances failed to feature a single actor of color. 

99% of Best Director Nominations Have Gone to Men

Hollywood Should Represent All of Us! The Truth of #OscarSoWhite

4) Euro 2016

AP_439524930550.jpgImage: AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani

Portugal pulled off the upset victory in the 2016 Euro Cup. They snapped a long losing streak to France even without their star player Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Euro 2016 Soccer Fans Cause Riots and Safety Concerns

3) PokemonGo


Pokemon Go caused hysteria for a few weeks. Then it faded. 

Why Pokemon Go Might Be a Good Thing for Society

Syrian Children Are Holding Pokémon Characters to Get the World's Attention

2) Election 2016

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Surprisingly, this wasn’t the top conversation, even though it seemed like it was the only thing happening for months at a time. 

Why Tacos Are the Real Winner of the 2016 Election

On Twitter, #Nov8thAfricanEdition Flips the Script on the 2016 Election

These 5 Wins in the US Elections Are Groundbreaking

1. Rio 2016

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People love sports. Especially when the drama on the field is multiplied by a frightening disease, a failing government, and widespread social unrest as we saw in Brazil. But the Olympics continue to be a place where Global Citizens of all kinds come together for the pleasure of sport. And everyone was pleasantly surprised that the Olympics turned out to be a big success. 

North and South Korean Gymnasts Take Selfie, Justify Whole Point of Olympics

The First US Olympian to Wear a Hijab Wins a Bronze

The first-ever refugee team will be competing at the Rio Olympics

Bonus Twitter Trend: In India, one of the top talkers on Twitter was our very own Global Citizen India festival. The event, which took place in late November, featured Coldplay, Jay Z, A.R. Rahman, and many more artists, who were there to celebrate the achievements of the 80,000 Global Citizens in attendance who took action to earn their spot at the show.