Facebook releases top 10 global topics for 2011

The number one global topic for 2011 on Facebook was the death of Osama bin Laden. It was by far the most discussed on the social network according to the company. Can you guess the other nine?

Facebook is starting to publish results of what was popular for the year 2011. The company started with the most shared articles in 2011, and now it's expanding on that with a new section of a special tab on its own Facebook Page called Memology 2011.

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 global topics on Facebook for 2011, courtesy of the Facebook Data Team:

  1. Death of Osama bin Laden
  2. Packers win the Super Bowl
  3. Casey Anthony found not guilty
  4. Charlie Sheen
  5. Death of Steve Jobs
  6. The Royal Wedding
  7. Death of Amy Winehouse
  8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
  9. Military operations begin in Libya
  10. Hurricane Irene

If you were paying attention this year, you'll notice these are by no means in chronological order: they're clearly listed in order of popularity. The picture above should give you an overview of what happened when. For a more detailed summary, see below.

If we're going to talk about just these 10 topics, we'll have to skip the first month of the year: January just wasn't that important. We'll go straight into February and look at the year's biggest sports event: when the Green Bay Packers defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers to win Super Bowl XLV. The spikes on the chart show the reaction of Packers fans around each post-season match but the real big one represents their victory on February 6.

Next up, we have Charlie Sheen and his antics in March. That's when his trademark memes (winning, tiger blood, and goddesses) took off. It's also when the scams using his name started to go viral.

Later in March, the United Nations military operations started in Libya, prompting a surge in status updates mentioning both Libya and Gaddafi. Less than a month before that, Libya's government blocked access to Facebook and various news websites before eventually turning off the whole Internet in the country.

In April, the marriage of Kate Middleton and Prince William dominated the conversation. Mentions of the phrase Royal Wedding increased nearly 600-fold in the days running up to their wedding day.

It wasn't long after that the death of Osama bin Laden became the most talked about event on Facebook for 2011. On May 1, almost 10 percent of all status updates in English mentioned news of his death and what it meant. After that, the scams started coming in.

June was rather uneventful. In July, however, talk of the trial of Casey Anthony, a Florida woman who was accused of murdering her daughter Caylee Anthony, reached fever pitch. Status updates mentioning Caylee Anthony peaked on July 5, the day her mother was acquitted. Amy Winehouse's death received a lot of outpouring of sadness also that month. The scams followed for both events.

In August, Hurricane Irene struck the east coast of the US. Americans used Facebook to get the latest emergency warnings and the rest of the world used the social network to make sure their friends and family were safe.

Steve Jobs' death in October was also a huge event of mourning and reminiscence. We covered every angle, as you can see in this roundup.

Finally in November, the launch of the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (mw3) was the biggest headline. It was marked as the biggest entertainment launch of all time, and of course cheaters took advantage.

We're in December now, meaning Facebook has released its list early. Unless something major happens, I'm pretty sure people are going to be mainly talking about one thing: the holidays!

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