Facebook has released a listing of the top trending topics on its global social media platform and it appears the world finally started noticing the Syrian crisis during 2015.
The Syrian civil war and refugee crisis was the third most discussed topic on Facebook following the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris in second and the U.S. presidential election in first place – no doubt lead by the now infamous Donald Trump .
Since the start of the Syrian conflict in the spring of 2011, millions of refugees have fled to neighboring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. However, 2015 saw a massive influx entering Europe, finally shifting the global spotlight onto the ongoing crisis.
A quick glance at Facebook's Top Global Topics of 2014 reveals that although millions had already been displaced by the Syrian conflict, nobody seemed to notice. In fact, the Syrian crisis didn't even make it into the top 10 last year.
With more than 1 billion active daily users and more than 1.5 billion active monthly users – 83.5 percent of whom are outside the U.S. and Canada – Facebook's global topics ranking provides a sizable sample to analyze the most talked about issues in the world.
In order to create the ranking, Facebook looked at "how frequently a topic was mentioned in Facebook posts" shared between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1 during 2015, according to the ranking's methodology . "To put this list together, Facebook posts were analyzed in an aggregated, anonymized way, and then ranked to create a snapshot of the year on Facebook."
In addition to the Syrian civil war and refugee crisis, the war against ISIS reached the top 10 in 2015, coming in seventh. Again, as with the broader crisis, ISIS didn't make the top 10 in 2014. No doubt global discussion of the extremist group was fueled by this year's No. 2 ranking discussion of the Paris attacks, claimed by ISIS.
Facebook's ranking seems to suggest that the world's attention is still selective and focused on the West. Issues affecting millions of innocent individuals – such as the Syrian conflict – only become a global discussion once they begin directly impacting the Western world.
Here is the full top 10 from 2015:
- US Presidential Election
- November 13 Attacks in Paris
- Syrian Civil War & Refugee Crisis
- Nepal Earthquakes
- Greek Debt Crisis
- Marriage Equality
- Fight Against ISIS
- Charlie Hebdo Attack
- Baltimore Protests
- Charleston Shooting & Flag Debate