Last Tuesday, Facebook released a list of top 40 most shared articles in 2011. The SNS’s almost universal adoption makes this list a fascinating reflection of the nation’s interests this past year. What’s particularly interesting is that the news topic that crowns the list and, furthermore, appears most frequently on the list is Japan’s earthquake and tsunami on March 11th.
According to the list, the top shared story in 2011 is an interactive feature by the New York Times presenting the 3.11 tsunami’s devastation.
In the feature, pairs of pictures of the affected region from before and after the disaster are laid on top of each other. The user moves the slider in the center of the picture to decide what proportion of the “before” and “after” pictures to see.
In total, four of the 40 stories concern the disaster. They were:
- #1. Satellite Photos of Japan, Before and After the Quake and Tsunami (New York Times)
- #8. Dog in Japan stays by the side of ailing friend in the rubble (Yahoo)
- #27. Widespread destruction from Japan earthquake, tsunamis (CNN)
- #36. Quake moved Japan coast 8 feet, shifted Earth’s axis (CNN)
I’m pleased to see that people are not being reminded of the disaster through this story, but are instead acknowledging the importance of the issue even today. I understand that we must equally remember to give aid to other disasters such as the Haiti earthquake in 2010 and the more recent Christchurch earthquake. However, I am deeply touched that people care about Japan so much.
Other popular topics include Steve Jobs’s death, Bin Ladin’s assassination, and many related to the poorly performing economy. For the full list, check out the whole article on Facebook.