The year is coming to a close and as it is customary for many sites to run a recap of the biggest events to happen in 2014, we thought we’d do ours, with a bit of a difference. In this post we will be looking at 2014 as told by hashtags. These are the topics that were abuzz in Twitterverse throughout the year, you may have used some of these hashtags yourself.
The list is, of course, not exhaustive – we can only do so much in a single write up – but we hope to have captured the gist of how 2014 was with these hashtags. Here’s to a better year in 2015.
Recommended Reading: Hashtagging In Social Networking – A Guide To Using Them Right
February 7-23, 2014: The 2014 Winter Olympics began on February 6 in Sochi, Russia and eventually became the most expensive Olympics in history, with expenses amounting to US$51 billion. Controversies and problems riddled the event as documented by athletes and members of the press under the hashtag #SochiProblems and #SochiStrays.
— NYT Olympics (@SochiNYT) February 5, 2014
— Steve Politi (@StevePoliti) February 7, 2014
— Kate Hansen (@k8ertotz) February 20, 2014
March 3, 2014: This year, the Oscars broke Twitter with an epic selfie.
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
The host, Ellen DeGeneres, who made the selfie happened, also ordered pizza to be delivered, and tipped the pizza delivery guy quite generously. On the red carpet, Benedict Cumberbatch photobombed U2.
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) March 3, 2014
March 8, 2014: Even as we are entering 2015, there is still no word about the fate of flight MH370, except that authorities are still searching for it. While bound for Beijing, China from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with more than 200 passengers and crew members on board, the plane disappeared without a trace, sparking an unprecedented massive multinational effort to find the plane.
— Tunku Iman Mukhlis (@imanmukhlis) March 9, 2014
— azlym (@azlymination) March 9, 2014
— Edphi (@sgify) March 11, 2014
March 25, 2014: It was announced that there was an outbreak of Ebola, a rare but deadly virus, with cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone. However, it was only on September 30 that #Ebola started trending when Liberian Thomas Eric Duncan was diagnosed in the United States. To date, 17, 145 cases have been reported and 6, 070 people have died of the disease, the largest Ebola epidemic so far.
— TIME.com (@TIME) October 20, 2014
Ebola, The Global Perspective pic.twitter.com/3Vx7761aeu
— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) October 7, 2014
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) October 24, 2014
April 15, 2014: 276 girls were kidnapped by terrorist group Boko Haram from their school in Chibok, Borno at Nigeria. The Twitter hashtag campaign was to pressure authorities into taking swift action against the terrorists and to bring the girls back to safety.
— Ibrahim M. Abdullahi (@Abu_Aaid) April 23, 2014
First started by Ibrahim M. Abdullahi, the hashtag eventually snowballed as various individuals in Nigeria began to pick it up as a way to inform the world about the plight of the girls. Advocaters for the hashtag include Malala Yosafzai, Hilary Clinton, and Michelle Obama.
— The First Lady (@FLOTUS) May 7, 2014
— Malala Fund (@MalalaFund) May 3, 2014
April 16, 2014: En route from Incheon to Jeju, a South Korean ferry with 476 passengers, most school students, capsized and sunk. Only 174 were rescued. To date, 295 bodies have been recovered, with 7 still missing. The tragedy prompted national outcry for the captain of the ferry to be prosecuted, for deserting the ship. In November, it was reported that he escaped the death penalty and was sentenced to a 36-year sentence for willful negligence.
— Jaehwan Cho 조재환 (@hohocho) April 23, 2014
— 시모나 ♥ (@Simo_4M) April 29, 2014
— JollyBee89 (@89_JollyBee) April 29, 2014
May 23, 2014: Elliot Rodger, 22 killed 6 people and injured 13 others on a killing spree near University of California, Santa Barbara in Isla Vista, California. He also shot himself. His motivation for his actions came to light in a series of Youtube videos detailing his hatred for women for scorning him and for men who stood in his way. This prompted women to share their stories of harrassment, sexual assault, and fear online through the hashtag #YesAllWomen. It sparked further debate when men responded with the hashtag #NotAllMen.
#yesallwomen because apparently the clothes I wear is a more valid form of consent than the words I say
— Ryuk (@ghirah1m) May 26, 2014
— Julie (@julieklippnich) May 26, 2014
— Jean Johnson (@JeanJAuthor) May 26, 2014
May 28, 2014: Celebrated author and poet Maya Angelou passed away peacefully at home. Best known for her book "I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings", Angelou was widely regarded as an outspoken and prominent voice for black people and women. Many took to Twitter to pay their respects.
— Arianna Huffington (@ariannahuff) May 28, 2014
"If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be." Maya Angelou – who was utterly amazing.
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 28, 2014
"Nothing can dim the light which shines from within." —Maya Angelou pic.twitter.com/oR11k7rwxk
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 28, 2014
June 12-July 13, 2014: The 20th FIFA World Cup in Brazil was another major sports event of the year, which saw riots and protests over corruption and ballooning costs for delayed construction of facilities. During the games, Twitter was abuzz with US goalkeeper Tim Howard’s amazing 16 saves, Luis Suarez’s bite, Brazil’s terrible performance on home soil and Germany meeting Argentina for the finals, both waiting to bring home the Cup.
— SNICKERS® (@SNICKERS) June 24, 2014
— Rob Tornoe (@RobTornoe) July 8, 2014
— SimpsonsQOTD (@SimpsonsQOTD) July 8, 2014
In the end, the Germans emerged victorious as this celebratory selfie shows:
— Lukas-Podolski.com (@Podolski10) July 13, 2014
July 7, 2014: The relationship between Israel and Gaza has always been rocky but this year, conflict erupted when Israel retaliated with Operation Protective Edge when Hamas launched rockets at them. Since then, social networks has been rife with pictures of casualties and death, articles detailing the conflict, and declarations of solidarity on both sides.
— Guess What (@Farah_Gazan) July 28, 2014
— Layan.Baker (@LayanBaker) August 10, 2014
— Thom Walker (@thompwalker) July 26, 2014
July 14, 2014: The Ice Bucket Challenge dominated social feeds for weeks as celebrity after celebrity dunked themselves with ice water in an effort to raise awareness for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a disease which affects neuro cells in the brain and spinal cord, leading to paralysis. By the end of August, the challenge helped raise $100 million for research.
July 17, 2014: It’s a tough year for Malaysia’s national carrier. Around 4 months after the MH370 tragedy, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was reportedly shot down from the air while flying over the Ukraine-Russia border. All 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board perished in the crash. Retrieval of the passengers’ bodies were hampered by the conflict happening in the area but eventually the bodies were identified and sent home for burial. To date, 6 bodies remained unidentified.
— Nikhil Bhardwaj (@nibhar) July 17, 2014
— Christian Vermont (@FollowChris) July 17, 2014
1 plane still missing. 1 plane crashed. Very challenging and tough year for MAS, Malaysia and Malaysians
— Typical Malaysian (@TypicalMsian) July 17, 2014
August 11, 2014: The world grieved when news about Robin Williams, beloved actor and comedian, being found dead in his home hit the air. Widely known for his iconic movie roles and his comedic genius, tributes poured all over Twitter as fans paid their respect to Williams via the hashtag #RIPRobinWilliams. The tragic circumstances surrounding William’s death ignited talk and discussions about depression and suicide.
— Childhood Shows (@ChildhoodShows) August 12, 2014
I could not be more stunned by the loss of Robin Williams, mensch, great talent, acting partner, genuine soul.
— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) August 11, 2014
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 12, 2014
August 12, 2014: Protests over the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9 is still ongoing today. Many on Twitter called for justice for Brown who died after being shot by police officer, Darren Wilson, on top of highlighting the issue of how black people are racially profiled and treated with suspicion automatically. #IfTheyGunnedMeDown carried photos of themselves and asked the question of how the media would use their photos to profile them.
— The Root (@TheRoot) August 11, 2014
— Dev (@DevinDinero) August 11, 2014
— Brie Nurse (@BriannaChevonne) August 11, 2014
Protests took a turn for the worse when the police force decided to confront the protestors instead of investigating Wilson. The media were not spared either when they were arrested for doing their job.
By the end of November, the verdict came in: Wilson walks. This prompted uproar and fueled more protests which now include the deaths of Tamir Rice and Eric Garner.
— Chris Buttimer (@chrisbuttimer) December 1, 2014
— Vivian Ho (@VivianHo) December 4, 2014
— Patrick deHahn (@patrickdehahn) December 7, 2014
August 16, 2014: Gamergate which was supposed to be a fight for ethics in videogames journalism turned into a blatant attack on women journalists in the industry. Indie game developer, Zoe Quinn became the first target when her ex-boyfriend accused her of cheating on him, in his blog post. This developed into the misconception that she was sleeping around to get coverage for her game. The incident escalated to the point of misogynistic attacks on prominent women in gaming and pop culture, including Anita Sarkeesian and Brianna Wu causing them to leave their homes for safety.
I don't buy that you care about Journalism, though. You care about terrorizing women and queers until they leave your playground. #GamerGate
— winter lake (@xmaslemmings) August 30, 2014
— Daiz (@Daiz42) August 30, 2014
I'm Hayden, and I love video games. Stop painting me as something I'm not just to deflect criticism. #GamerGate
— JollyBitHero (@HyperBitHero) August 30, 2014
September 4, 2014: After complications from a throat proccedure, comedienne Joan Rivers passed away at age 81. Known for her sharp tongue and humor, Rivers was never one to hold back on her comments or her self-deprecating jokes. Her death was another blow to the comedy industry.
— Elite Daily (@EliteDaily) September 4, 2014
RIP Joan Rivers. Being publicly told that my dress is hideous will never feel quite as awesome. You will be truly missed.
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) September 4, 2014
Only Joan Rivers would plan a funeral like this pic.twitter.com/4ZePQ6HuSI
— Trish! (@Trish_a_licious) September 5, 2014
September 18, 2014: Scotland votes on whether they become an independant state or not. Referring to the Scottish Independence Referendum, #Indyref generated further hashtags such as #BetterTogether, #ScotDecides, #VoteYes, #VoteNo (to name but a few) for the month leading up to and on polling day itself. In the end, Scotland ‘voted’ to stay.
"What's your favourite cheese, Alistair?" "Cheddar, which I buy using the pound. WHAT IS YOUR PLAN B FOR THE CURRENCY?" #scotdecides
— Wings Over Scotland (@WingsScotland) August 5, 2014
— Scott Graham (@suitedsorted) September 25, 2013
— Andrew Skinner (@Askinner2011) July 11, 2014
September 19, 2014: The iPhone decided to grow big with the introduction of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 plus but within days of its launch, #iPhone6 was soon replaced by #Bendgate. Horror stories about the slim and large phone bending in pockets began to surface and the competition decided to jumped in on the action with their own jokes about bending and flexing phones.
— Robin Israelson (@grapoluponape) September 24, 2014
— Phone Designer (@PhoneDesigner) September 24, 2014
— LG USA Mobile (@LGUSAMobile) September 24, 2014
September 26, 2014: Starting out as #OccupyCentral, the protest was to call for China to give the people of Hong Kong their right to elect and vote for their own leader. University students and their peers took to the streets prompting news, discussions and footage of their conduct. The protests became violent when police shot rubber bullets and tear gas at the protestors prompting them to shield themselves with umbrellas, bringing about the #UmbrellaRevolution.
— Philip P. Pan (@panphil) September 29, 2014
— leungfaye (@leungfaye) September 29, 2014
— Deborah Kan (@debkhk) December 1, 2014
[Update: This post was originally released on Dec 11, 2014. The following are incidences that occur after that date.]
December 16, 2014: A lone gunman took 18 people hostage in a cafe in Martin Place, Sydney, Australia, in an intense 16-hour standoff. The incident left two hostages dead (the cafe manager was one) and a few others injured. The gunman was shot dead. The site of the crisis later on became a field of flowers as people paid their tributes to the victims. Many also reflected on why the gunman, who had been charged with 40 counts of battery against women, was out on bail when he decided to terrorize the city.
— The Independent (@Independent) December 23, 2014
Maybe if we took violence against women seriously this guy would have already been in jail. #sydneysiege
— Captain Turtle (@Captainturtle) December 15, 2014
December 28, 2014: #AirAsia Indonesia #QZ8501 bound for Singapore from Surabaya lost contact with the control tower 50 minutes into the 5.30am flight. The manifest listed 155 passengers and 7 crew on board the Airbus A320-216; the majority were Indonesians. The pilot had requested a change in flying altitude to avoid bad weather, before losing contact. While a search-and-rescue operation is already initiated, authorities believe that the jet is "at the bottom of the sea". [Editor’s note: This is a developing story]
— New Straits Times (@NST_Online) December 29, 2014
— New Straits Times (@NST_Online) December 29, 2014