In a year that saw a massive security breach that exposed the personal information of millions of users, and press revelations that threw shade on how its executives responded to foreign interference on its platform, Facebook offered a surprisingly sunny appraisal of 2018 in its year in review.
Research manager Sheida Neman avoided re-opening any scars in her blog post, choosing instead to highlight “top ways people around the world connected with their communities on Facebook.”
Neman talked about how International Women’s Day was the most talked about moment of the year, and how the March for Our Lives, a movement started by survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, fueled conversation and action around the world.
The Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl win against the New England Patriots and the World Cup brought communities around the world together in celebration, Neman wrote.
Facebook users took the time to write millions of posts memorializing such prominent figures as musical icons Aretha Franklin and Avicii, the scientific visionary Stephen Hawking, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and Hollywood stars like Burt Reynolds.
Here are some other moments from 2018 that didn’t revisit: a major hack that compromised the personal information of 30 million users, a New York Times investigation revealing how its leaders mishandled Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 election, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional grilling over the Cambridge Analytica privacy scanda.
There’s no mention, either, of the how propagandists used Facebook’s platform to spread misinformation and stokeviolence against Myanmar’s Muslim Rohingya minority group — an issue it addressed with a blog post released on the eve of the midterm election.
Neman selected the top moments of this year’s by examining the volume of mentions for top keywords.