As 2019 draws to a close, few would dispute that the last 12 months have been a hell of a journey, both in Britain and across the world.
Twitter has been a companion to many people as they digest and debate global events ranging from Game of Thrones to the Hong Kong protests and, of course, Brexit. So what are the hottest topics on the social networking site this year?
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Twitter is the void into which we all shout, and many Game of Thrones fan did just that after the series finale aired in May. A number of viewers were unhappy with the ending, and took to social media to express their disappointment in no uncertain terms.
Indeed, the show is the most tweeted about TV programme of the year, followed by Stranger Things, with the screening of the third season, and perennial favourite The Simpsons.
The Avengers: Endgame generated lots of chat as well as loads on money, with the Marvel movie taking a record $2.8bn (£2.13bn) at the global box office.
The Lion King remake also made the top five, despite not being a patch on the original, according to Elton John, who composed and sung tracks for the 1994 animated classic. The singer said that Jon Favreau’s photorealistic update was a “huge disappointment” and that “the magic and joy were lost” - a view echoed by many Twitter users.
Tom Holland was the most tweeted about actor of 2019, with his popularity no doubt boosted by his turns as Spider-Man in both The Avengers: Endgame and Far From Home.
Fellow Endgame stars Chris Evans and Mark Ruffalo also make it into the top ten most-talked about list after posting lots of jokey tweets - along with some political messages. Captain America hero Evans hasn’t pulled his punches in his criticism of Donald Trump, while Hulk hunk Ruffalo pledged support to Democratic presidential nominee Bernie Sanders.
“Bernie Sanders, your message of ‘Us, not Me’ is the one that resonates with me most. Your willingness to always fight for what’s right and fair is what’s leading the progressive shift in this election. You are the original progressive. You are the one,” Ruffalo tweeted in November.
Anyone who has encountered a teenager in 2019 will probably be unsurprised to hear that BTS has dominated Twitter this year.
The South Korean boyband claims the “No. 1 spot in the most-tweeted-about musicians category and the second-most-retweeted tweet worldwide”, reports Variety. A video of band member Jungkook dancing has been liked 2.3 million times and retweeted 951,000 times since being released in June.
Sweetener singer Ariana Grande, who has a huge Twitter following, is next on the most-talked about musicians list.
When it comes to news, the Twittersphere has largely reflected mainstream headlines, with the Notre Dame fire, Brexit and the Christchurch terror attack generating lots of online comments and discussion.
November’s Global Climate Strike also makes the top ten, with activists using Twitter to call for urgent action on the environmental crisis, as part of the biggest climate protest in history.
Most pundits would put their money on Donald Trump being the most tweeted about politician of 2019, and they would be right to do so. The US president has continued to share his opinions, rubbish opponents’ claims, and even engage in international diplomacy on the social media site - winning both criticism and applause, and a total of 67.4 million Twitter followers.
Trump got the year off to a good start on 1 January 2019, wishing a “HAPPY NEW YEAR” to the “HATERS AND FAKE NEWS MEDIA”.
A politician of a very different sort, former president Barack Obama, is second on the list, which also features Democrat nominees old and new in the form of Bernie Sanders, Hilary Clinton and Joe Biden. No UK politicians make the Twitter top ten.
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