Social media in 2017 sucked. Liberal or conservative, places like Facebook were the frontline in a non-stop battle over politics, sexual harassment, fake news, gun violence, and the general idiocy and despair of modern life. Naturally, this creates a bit of a quandary for the folks who put together Facebooks annual Year in Review. I mean, who wants to remind the world what an awful place it has become? Leave it to Facebook to find the silver lining in every cloud of human misery. This years list seems plucked from a strange alternate universe of positivity, where every tragedy was really an opportunity for hugging and coming togetherness. For example, that mass shooting in Las Vegas that left dozens dead and triggered a ferocious, yet futile, debate over gun culture in the United States? In Facebookland, this becomes a tragic incident that motivated more than 3,300 people to offer help to their community through our Crisis Response tools on Facebook. Hooray for humans! The most talked about moment on Facebook was International Womens Day. This was a day fueled by protests around the world that highlighted sexual violence against women, income disparity, the Day Without Women movement in the U.S., and all sorts of grim reminders of the rampant gender inequality that still exits. On Facebook, however, this moment was described as people around the world talking, sharing, and posting in celebration of women and related issues. Related issues! Holy euphemism, Batman! The Womens March on DC in January was the largest gathering for a Facebook event in 2017. Facebook describes it thusly: This single event sparked more than 15,000 other local events to be created in different cities across the globe, bringing millions of people together from over 100 different countries for one of the largest global movements in recent history. Not noted: The event was sparked by anger over the presidential inauguration of an accused sexual harasser who was promising to roll back a wide range of protections for women. Yeah, that guy. Thus, the pussy hats. Other awful events, like the Earthquake in Mexico, Hurricane Harvey, and the Manchester bombing are remembered as moments, viewed through Facebook Goggles, when people came together to support one another in times of crisis. If one were to make a more realistic list, it might look more like this: Ok, now, everybody hug! And have a great 2018!
People mainly came together to rally around disasters and tragedies. Yesterday, Facebook unveiled its annual Year in Review, which highlights the biggest moments of 2017. And, unsurprisingly, most of them are pretty depressing, confirming what we all already knew: The year 2017 was pretty terrible. Facebook tries to spin it as "highlighting the top ways people came together on Facebook to support one another," but the list of events makes it clear that the year was just one terrible thing after another. The release mentions the violence in Las Vegas, the Mexico earthquake (which drove the highest number of interactions with Facebook's Crisis Response feature), the Manchester terror attack (the benefit concert was the most viewed live broadcast and video on Facebook) and Hurricane Harvey (the biggest fundraising for one crisis). The Year in Review also highlights women's issues with both the Women's March on DC and International Women's Day, which was the top moment discussed in 2017. Finally, the social network highlights the Super Bowl and the total solar eclipse (which I maintain is a big deal) as big events of the year. If you're interested in your year in review, you can access your video on Facebook. Starting today, visit facebook.com/yearinreview for your personalized version of 2017 (though, at the time of this writing, the feature isn't live.)