2016 | THE YEAR ON TWITTER
This year, a lot of shit happened. None of it was good. About one good thing happened on Twitter all year and that was Pokemon GO, and that wasn’t even that good because the app kept crashing and nobody even plays it anymore. Pokemon GO did not survive 2016. Donald Trump’s presidential campaign did though and he’s going to become the actual president next month. It’s great. 2016: what a time to be alive.
This year’s Twitter analytics revealed that people talked about Trump a lot. Which is understandable because Trump talks about Trump a lot and uses the World Wide Web and attacks on Hillary Clinton to distract us from the important things in life like Aleppo, nuclear war, and the fact that he doesn’t know how to use autocorrect.
But people on Twitter talked about other things too. Less horrific things, like the Rio Olympics, all of the great things the Repeal movement have achieved this year, and… That was it. They were the only good things. So many people died. A guy tweeting the word ‘lemonade’ in Spanish was the year’s most popular tweet. How did that happen? What does it mean? 2016 was horrible. Make it stop.
— elrubius (@Rubiu5) August 20, 2016
#Trump wins #USelection, establishes awful cabinet, befriends #Kanye, tweets some amount of crap
In 2016, Trump happened. This we all know. But in case you happened to have been residing under a rock or are impervious to social media, here’s what you missed – in all its unadulterated, upsetting glory.
In January, Trump did some Republican debates alongside the other 16 candidates vying for the Republican nomination. The next month, this – the single greatest 1.54 mins video to have ever existed – happened. It was great. The GOP lads got confused and walked at the wrong time. Classic. We all had a big laugh about it, until the rest of the year occurred and we realised that we should not have spent that time laughing, but preparing for the inevitable horrors that were about to come.
Also competing for the Republican nomination were Ted Cruz, Dr Ben Carson, and John Kasich. Cruz may have very well won the nomination it hadn’t have been for all of those murders. But hey, a billionaire, racist, misogynistic Apprentice host who has no formal experience in politics was a way better shout, clearly.
If the last four words of the Gilmore Girls aren't 'ted cruz, zodiac killer' then I'm not going to watch it.
— Carl Kinsella (@TVsCarlKinsella) November 26, 2016
Trump secured the nomination in May to the absolute shock of nobody. He received the most Republican primary votes ever. It was a blow but the assumption that Hillary Clinton – a woman who has spent her whole life working in politics and doesn’t threaten to grab people by the pussy – would win the election remained. She had to win. What would the world be coming to if she didn’t? A load of complete and utter shit, that’s what.
In June, Clinton was leading in most national polls. In July, it was reported that FBI were investigating her emails and things started to shift. Trump began edging his way closer to victory. He started talking more and more about #CrookedHillary, promising more and more jobs to unemployed Americans, making more and more untrue and brash claims about Mexicans, Muslims, gay people, women, the Black Lives Matter movement. He announced Mike Pence as his running mate. It was disgusting.
Towards the end of the summer, Trump decided to not talk about his taxes ever. He said they were none of anyone’s business, but also that he had nothing to hide. He continued to focus on Clinton’s emails and tweet absolute nonsense. He kept gaining support.
Crooked Hillary should not be allowed to run for president. She deleted 33,000 e-mails AFTER getting a subpoena from U.S. Congress. RIGGED!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2016
Once the Presidential debates began, people were worried. But people were also pretty sure that Clinton had this in the bag. They were two of the most disliked Presidential candidates in the history of the United States, but at least Hillary was prepared, knew what she was talking about, and hadn’t been caught on tape making sexist, stomach churning comments about women. After this, people began withdrawing their endorsements. Trump was forced to apologise. 15 women alleged that they had been sexual assaulted by the Republican Presidential nominee.
Trump denied everything and then it was November. America voted and he became the President-elect of the United States, winning 306 electoral college votes to Clinton’s 232. Trump lost the popular vote which is a thing that hasn’t happened since the 1800s. Americans protested his victory. Americans are still protesting his victory. He complained about the protests, complained about SNL, appointed some terrible, terrible people to his cabinet, and met with Kanye West. He’s set to take over from Obama on January 20th. It doesn’t look like anyone wants to perform at his inauguration.
Still, Trump and the US election were only the second most talked about things on Twitter around the globe this year. Which is pretty interesting considering it was all anybody talked about. Here’s some tweets that best encapsulate the horrific activities of 2016’s TIME Person of the Year: Donald J Trump.
The so-called "A" list celebrities are all wanting tixs to the inauguration, but look what they did for Hillary, NOTHING. I want the PEOPLE!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 23, 2016
#TrumpTapes are not 'boys being boys' or 'locker room talk'. He was 60. Third wife. Bragging about assault, infidelity and juvenile nonsense
— uberfeminist (@uberfeminist) October 8, 2016
"A rebellion against the elites" by putting in power a white millionaire.
— Louise O' Neill (@oneilllo) November 9, 2016
A man who brags about sexually assaulting women has been elected president. That is a fucking disgusting fact for a woman to have to face.
— Hazel Hayes (@TheHazelHayes) November 9, 2016
Merry Christmas everyone: pic.twitter.com/PsLZiffZEr
— Robert Popper (@robertpopper) December 23, 2016
Britain set to leave the EU #Brexit
Another event that showed us all just how wrong and warped our perceptions of general existence were was Brexit. On June 23rd, 52% of British people voted in favour of leaving the European Union after a campaign wrought with racism, hate, and lies dominated the media for months.
According to many Leave supporters, they hadn’t expected to actually win the vote and just wanted to prove a point about immigration, a lack of jobs, and how much they desperately wanted that extra £50m NHS funding that was being spent on EU status even though it wasn’t because Nigel Farage is a liar.
Following the vote, David Cameron resigned as Prime Minister leaving everyone in the UK with the horrific prospect of Boris Johnson become their new PM. Things seemed to be going that way until Johnson decided that he absolutely did not want to do that and became Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs instead. Theresa May took over and announced that Article 50 would be triggered in early 2017, starting in motion the UK’s removal from the EU.
When it seemed very likely that the Leave side were going to emerge victorious, ‘Northern Irish passport’ became a top Google search in the UK. The pound’s value dropped immensely. Marmite threatened to pull out of Britain. Jo Cox’s husband Brendan Cox raised over £1m for charities that his late wife had supported, and urged the people of Britain to fight against the hate that had killed her during the Brexit campaign.
Powerful, inspiring and heartbreaking statement from @MrBrendanCox husband of #JoCox Please read, and share widely. pic.twitter.com/wdz7nroQ7u
— Colm O'Gorman (@Colmogorman) June 16, 2016
Good morning Britain. This is what happened to your currency while you were asleep. pic.twitter.com/CVrgHnHJJq
— John Authers (@johnauthers) June 24, 2016
"Older generation have voted for a future that the younger generation do not want" is the scariest and saddest way to phrase this #EUref
— Angela Scanlon (@angelascanlon) June 24, 2016
haha u Brexit cunts I bought all my Toblerone in Europe cos I have respect for my family pic.twitter.com/DuzwkUU4n4
— Festivelle (@ElleHa) December 23, 2016
The UK Today: A Summary #EURefResults pic.twitter.com/PA5bk3YNbU
— corny (@chaeyunz) June 24, 2016
"It's beginning to look a lot like Brexit" https://t.co/nrIik4M2zU
— Richard Osman (@richardosman) December 23, 2016
2016: the year we lost everyone
David Bowie. Alan Rickman. Leonard Cohen. David Gest. Gene Wilder. Muhammad Ali. Prince. Frank Kelly. Terry Wogan.
The list goes on. And there’s only so much one can say about that list other than it’s been fairly shit reading about the deaths of musicians, actors, and general icons that may or may not shaped peoples’ lives, done incredible things in their careers, and maybe even changed the world just a little bit.
Some people wondered whether 2016 was broken. Others suggested that we turn it off and on again. Everyone else was just sad because we had lost some great people this year on top of all the other crap we’ve had to deal with. Here are some of their tweets.
2016 in Memoriam:
— Sam Grittner (@SamGrittner) December 21, 2016
I knew 2016 was going to be a bad year when it took David Bowie from us
— t (@miuyorker) December 23, 2016
Gene Wilder: a unique, sad-eyed, hysterical, melancholy talent. I always found him frightening AND funny. A beautiful combination. RIP
— Mark Gatiss (@Markgatiss) August 29, 2016
"This is truly devastating news. The greatest performer I have ever seen. A true genius… Rest in peace you purple warrior." #Prince #RIP
— Elton John (@eltonofficial) April 22, 2016
It feels like we lost something elemental, as if an entire color is gone. #DavidBowie
— Carrie Brownstein (@Carrie_Rachel) January 11, 2016
Every word this man delivered had my attention. Thank you for sharing your gift with us all. RIP #AlanRickman
— Karl Loxley (@KarlLoxley) January 14, 2016
Irish #generalelection happens #GE16
The beginning of this year saw the general election occur. This was eventful because it seemed like the people of Ireland wanted something different, and that a change was coming. When the votes were counted Fine Gael and Enda emerged victorious again, with Fianna Fail more than doubling the amount of seats they had in 2011.
#GE16 was the top domestic trending topic in Ireland this year, with the leaders debate being the most talked about programme. Remember when Micheal Martin dropped a piece of paper and Enda pointed at it? Hysterical. What a country we live in.
The general election did hold a few surprises though. Most notably Alan Kelly being hoisted up onto some fella’s shoulders and paraded around a room when it was confirmed he’d be getting a seat in the Dáil. He was happy while also looking really angry. People made a meme of it. It was a whole thing.
This election also proved to be fairly positive for the Independents who won 19 seats, and the record number 35 women who took a place in the chamber. Labour representation was knocked down to 7 seats, while Sinn Fein succeeded in securing 23. Renua got none and Lucinda Creighton resigned. Very few people were surprised.
If I was the one who came up with the 'keep the recovery going' slogan, I'd be tiptoeing towards the door right now #GE16 #exitpoll
— Gillian Nelis (@gnelis) February 26, 2016
BREAKING: Major power outage reported in and around the area of Alan Kelly.
— Colm Tobin (@colmtobin) May 20, 2016
Alan Kelly Still Celebrating On Shoulders Of Campaign Staff https://t.co/YQOVtCoPTU #ge16 #ireland #news pic.twitter.com/ERTimbMafO
— WWN (@WhispersNewsLTD) March 3, 2016
#Rio2016 is the most tweeted about event of the year
Over the Summer, the Olympics happened in Rio. Everyone around the world tweeted about the Olympics happening in Rio, so the Olympics in Rio become Twitter’s top global trending topic. This is nice because the Olympics are not a bad thing, like absolutely everything else that happened this year. Good for the Olympics.
Ireland won two medals at the Olympics, one by Annalise Murphy for sailing, and one by Paul and Gary O’Donovan for rowing. We did pretty well at some other sports too, probably. What we did not do pretty well at was avoiding ticket scandals as Pat Hickey was arrested in Rio for his involvement with the illegal resale of hundreds of tickets meant for the Olympic Council of Ireland.
Hickey denied doing anything wrong. It was reported in November that he had been loaned some money to make bail. He is currently back in Ireland, and says he is “delighted” to be home just in time for the holidays.
Pat Hickey's bail has been set at a staggering €410,000. Thats almost 10 Olympics tickets. pic.twitter.com/ZUlUAMjfaS
— Mallow News (@MallowNews) November 17, 2016
Pat Hickey will remain in Brazil, as he has sold hes plane tickets for ten times the original price! Old habits die hard!
— TheMoriartyTribunal (@berkieahern) December 2, 2016
Thank God Pat Hickey is coming home.. I promised the missus 2 tickets for Coldplay for Christmas.. He's my best hope…
— Ken Armstrong (@KillorglinKen) November 16, 2016
Toy show tickets for sale. Give Pat Hickey a bell for knock down deals… #LateLateToyShow pic.twitter.com/o2NkYAhtxa
— Deric Ó hArtagáinTV3 (@deric_hartigan) December 2, 2016
#Repealthe8th movement loses no momentum in 2016
Another year, another 12 women a day forced to travel to the UK for abortion services Ireland refuses to offer them. Those of us in favour of repealing the eighth amendment still haven’t been offered a referendum.
Instead this year what we got was a lot of tone policing, columnists claiming to represent the ‘middle ground,’ and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland giving RTE a formal warning for not challenging Graham and Helen Linehan about their fatal foetal abnormality enough. We got a person being removed from the Citizens’ Assembly for being actively pro choice. We got anti choicers parading around town in clothing proclaiming that they love the eighth and everything it’s done for the Irish people. We got thousands more women exiled abroad.
But 2016 also saw great things happen for the Repeal campaign, most of which have been detailed here by Eoin Ó’Faogáin. We saw Anna Cosgrave’s Repeal project turn the streets of Ireland black for change. We saw the highest number of people ever march for choice in September. We saw two women travel, #choiceforxmas dominate Twitter, and countries all over the world stand in solidarity with our women and their inability to choose what is right for them.
#Repealthe8th was also the third most popular trending topic in Ireland this year, coming just after the 1916 commemorations.
Travelling home to Ireland and thinking of the 11 women a day who travel to Britain for an abortion #Choice4Xmas #Repealthe8th pic.twitter.com/OZN2PkeOll
— Emma Mee Hayes (@EmmaMeeHayes) December 23, 2016
One for the girls who have travelled this week. #flippingtree @BloomFringe #repealthe8th #choice4xmas pic.twitter.com/lHncb81olv
— Róisín de Buitléar (@RdeBuitlear) December 22, 2016
#HomeSweetHome group houses homeless people for Christmas
Irish people doing decent things and fighting for the good also dominated Twitter’s trending topics with the occupation of #ApolloHouse. In December, a group of “concerned citizens” including artists like Glen Hansard, Jim Sheridan, and Hozier took over vacant, Nama managed Apollo House in order to give Dublin’s homeless people a warm bed, hot water, and some comfort for the Christmas season. Hey, maybe this year wasn’t so abysmally terrible after all?
Donations have been pouring in for Home Sweet Home since the initiative was launched; so much so that the group have had to tell people to give to homeless charities instead. When it was reported that the government had plans to remove everyone from Apollo House and potentially demolish it, a concert was held in the street outside, drawing the attention of international news organisations like the New York Times and the BBC.
A judge recently ruled that those occupying Apollo House had to be out by January 11th, stating that they had had good intentions, but that “exceptional circumstances” would not be made for them. Home Sweet Home member Tommy Gavin said that the group would not give up, and that Ireland’s homeless problem could be resolved “by the stroke of a pen.”
Irish artists and "concerned citizens" seized an office block and opened a homeless shelter called #HomeSweetHome this holiday season. pic.twitter.com/sIjNNfbgZq
— New York Times Video (@nytvideo) December 22, 2016
This must be where Irish government & right-wing commentators sleep at night because they keep referring to them as 'beds'. #HomeSweetHome pic.twitter.com/lMJDzNrZmU
— David Gibney (@davegibney) December 23, 2016
While @HSHIreland fights in court to protect a #homesweethome for 37 people, our government fights in court to give €13billion back to Apple
— Frankie Gaffney (@FrankieGaffney) December 21, 2016
Receiving hundreds of private messages. This is one. Hope is not just a word.#HomeSweetHome #ApolloHouse #EndHomelessnessNow @HSHIreland pic.twitter.com/RtVm5haonQ
— Terry McMahon (@terrymcmahon69) December 20, 2016
To our citizens, our artists, our trade unionists and even to our purveyors of mattresses; well done. #HomeSweetHome is born out of decency.
— Gary Gannon (@1GaryGannon) December 17, 2016
#PokemonGO changes everybody’s lives, for about three weeks
Over the Summer, Pokemon GO became a thing. Not just a regular thing, but a serious thing that brought people together, tore families apart, and made everybody hate zubats. One could say that Pokemon GO revolutionised online gaming. It made people go outside, hang around Centras, and start talking about gyms way more than they ever would have before.
But then, just as suddenly as it arrived, it was gone. Not literally gone, but the vast majority of people stopped playing it after awhile because we all have the attention spans of squirrels and are constantly finding new things to get obsessed with, like donut shops or bubble tea.
But for those three weeks during Summer 2016, we were infinite.
It means no worries for the rest of your days pic.twitter.com/41nA2619dq
— josh (@AdAstraJoshua) July 12, 2016
Nintendo's mobile strategy:
2008: what's an iPhone
2010: what's an Android
2014: still no
2016: change how society functions
— Aaron Levie (@levie) July 11, 2016
— john (@Scarlet4UrMa) July 11, 2016
"Please stop catching Pokémon in the Holocaust Museum" is a phrase I thought would never exist in my lifetime, but there you go.
— J.E. Reich (@jereichwrites) July 12, 2016
A guy just told his girlfriend to hold the train while he caught a Pokémon and she got on and left without him.
— Kate Feldman (@kateefeldman) July 9, 2016