This year, the world was most interested in Egypt and Charlie Sheen, according to Twitter’s annual report on the top trending hashtags.
Second on the list was #tigerblood, a reference to one of the actor’s online diatribes in which he claimed his fangs were dripping tiger blood.
But – giving some hope for the world’s sense of priority – this was pipped by #egypt, and public interest in the country’s popular uprising earlier this year. Other top trending tags included #jan25 – the date the uprising started – and Cairo was the top trending city.
“Among other things, we saw history unfold in the Middle East, mourned the passing of Elizabeth Taylor, celebrated National Whipped Cream Day, and cheered for the Dallas Mavericks, Texas Rangers and Wayne Rooney,” says the company on its blog.
“We wondered about Charlie Sheen, speculated about the Sony NGP, and raved (or raged) about Rebecca Black. And we tYp3ed LyK tHi5.”
The most-discussed television program was Pretty Little Liars, and Thor topped the movie list. Top of the music list was Rebecca Black – and Justin Bieber didn’t feature in the top five.
Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s resignation was the top world news item, followed by the death of Osama Bin Laden – and particularly the live blog of the attack tweeted by a Pakistani man.
The Japanese earthquake and Fukushima nuclear disaster was third.
The numbers for Egypt-related hashtags are no doubt related to the huge part that Twitter played in the uprising. At the beginning of this year, the company teamed up with Google to allow users to access Twitter via a voice-based service.
In the week before Mubarak’s resignation, for example, the total rate of tweets about political change in Egypt shot up ten-fold, according to University of Washington research.