Twitter’s Top Tweets of 2017 Reveal Nation’s Divide—and a Quest for Chicken Nuggets
By: Jerry Ascierto
December 12, 2017
Twitter had quite a year, cementing its status as a cultural touchstone through politically weaponized tweets and hashtags that sparked a national conversation. Oh yeah, and then there was that whole 280-character count thing, too.
To ring out 2017, the platform recently provided some data ranking its most popular tweets. Surprisingly, not one of them was authored by Donald Trump (though he was the most tweeted about elected official of the year). Another notable absence: The #MeToo movement sparked by a tweet from Alyssa Milano didn’t make the list of most tweeted activism hashtags, but that’s only due to timing, as it emerged late in the calendar year.
While news was often made on Twitter this year, the platform also laid bare the nation’s social and political divisions. And yet, the most retweeted post of the year concerned the nonpartisan quest of a man looking for a year’s worth of free chicken nuggets.
The Most Retweeted Tweets of 2017
- Wendy’s chicken nugget challenge
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3
— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
- Barack Obama’s response to Charlottesville
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion…” pic.twitter.com/InZ58zkoAm
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) August 13, 2017
- When Penn State raised money for Houston
With the current devastation in Houston, we are pledging $0.15 for every RT this gets! Please forward this along to help out those in need! pic.twitter.com/lodyOBE0eG
— Penn State IFC (@PennStateIFC) August 30, 2017
- Ariana Grade’s response to the Manchester shooting
from the bottom of my heart, i am so so sorry. i don’t have words.
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) May 23, 2017
- Barack Obama’s last tweet thanking Americans for trusting him as POTUS
Thank you for everything. My last ask is the same as my first. I’m asking you to believe—not in my ability to create change, but in yours.
— President Obama (@POTUS44) January 11, 2017
While Barack Obama owns two of the five most retweeted posts of the year, the three most tweeted about elected world leaders were Donald Trump, followed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Venezuala’s President Nicolás Maduro.
And as important as the #MeToo movement has become in the national conversation about sexual harassment, most of the top 10 activism hashtags concerned President Trump.
10 Most Tweeted Activism Hashtags in the U.S
For those looking for an escape from all of the political cacophony and heated rhetoric, the top tweeted television show was Game of Thrones, while the movie with the most hashtag mentions was Wonder Woman.
Most Tweeted About TV Shows in the U.S.
- Game of Thrones
- Stranger Things
- Big Brother
- 13 Reasons Why
- Saturday Night Live
- The Walking Dead
- Grey’s Anatomy
- The Voice
- Pretty Little Liars
Most Tweeted About Movies in the U.S.
- Wonder Woman
- La La Land
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Justice League
- Beauty and the Beast
- Thor: Ragnarok
- Black Panther
- Fifty Shades Darker