#Trending: Worldwide Social Media Trends in 2015

As we get ready to move into 2016 with all guns blazing, here’s a quick throwback on what the year looked like on the digital front. These are the topics that concerned you the most in 2015

BY Arfa Shahid


Thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers poured into Europe, primarily from Syria, Eritrea and Afghanistan. Rights activists around the world tweeted words of support for the refugees and advocated for their right to a better quality of life.

“If you can’t imagine yourself in one of those boats, you have something missing. They are dying for a life worth living. #refugeeswelcome”

– @jk_rowling


A 14-year-old American-Muslim teenager Ahmed Mohammed was detained and handcuffed for bringing a home-made clock to school, feared to be a bomb. The hashtag began trending within six hours of the incident and sparked a global conversation on Islamophobia, one that U.S. President Barack Obama joined.

“Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It’s what makes America great.”



After the horrific November 13 attacks in Paris, people all over the world united to show support and offer words of strength to the city’s people. Tweets with the hashtag #PrayForParis trended for days worldwide, with celebrities, politicians and activists getting involved. Pope Francis tweeted the following message:

“I am deeply saddened by the terrorist attacks in Paris. Please join me in prayer for the victims and their families. #PrayersForParis”

– @Pontifex


The hashtag began as a social movement to protest a multitude of cases of police brutality against African American individuals in the U.S. According to Twitter, the phrase was tweeted 9 million times in 2015 and came to represent incidents such as Ferguson, Charleston shooting and the Baltimore protests.

“Every day I’m reminded this system isn’t broke, it was built this way. Love my people who take it apart brick by brick #BlackLivesMatter”

– @reinagossett


And finally, the hashtag that left the entire world in an existential crisis, caused friendships to break and forced most people to question their sanity—a photo of a dress that went viral. No one could definitely figure out whether it was black and blue or white and gold. Millions of people marveled at the optical illusion the dress presented and delved into the science behind it. Others deliberated whether their entire life had been a lie. The dress was black and blue—and it took 4.4 million tweets before the world could finally figure it out.

“I don’t understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it’s a trick somehow. I’m confused and scared. P.S.: It’s OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK”

– @taylorswift13

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