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From #PrayForParis to #BlackLivesMatter, Twitter looks back at this year’s biggest moments

Reuters/Benoit Tessier
The world turned to Twitter twice this year to stand with Paris.
By Aamna Mohdin
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

This was the year the world was divided over the color of a dress, celebrated the US legalization of gay marriage, and prayed for Paris after it was subject to the worst terrorist attack in Europe in a decade. Now, Twitter is looking back at these memorable moments.

The social-media giant highlighted the most retweeted tweets, the top trends, most influential hashtags, and the biggest names to join Twitter this year. The Paris terrorist attacks were the most talked-about subject on Twitter this year. The world united and showed its solidarity to Paris twice through #JeSuisCharlie and #PrayForParis ten months later.

Twitter also notes the monumental social movement kickstarted by Black Lives Matter, which first began as a hashtag in response to the killings of unarmed black men by police officers across the US. The phrase was tweeted nine million times in 2015, highlighting cases of police brutality and bringing issues of racial inequality into the public narrative.

People also celebrated marriage equality with the hashtag #LoveWins, which quickly became popular when the Supreme Court’s decided to legalize gay marriage in the US, and the #HomeToVote hashtag that was widely used by Irish citizens traveling home to vote on marriage equality.

The refugee crisis, which saw thousands of refugees flock from the Middle East and Africa to Europe this year, sparked the #RefugeesWelcome hashtag. People used the hashtag to call on government’s to respond to the growing migration crisis, and to open borders and let refugees in. #IStandWithAhmed, the women’s soccer World Cup, #PlutoFlyby, and #TheDress were other influential hashtags this year.

In terms of individuals, Americans dominated the list. US president Barack Obama joined Twitter this year and set a record for how quickly he got a million followers, but Caitlyn Jenner beat his record a month later as she amassed over 1 million followers in just four hours. Other influential people to join Twitter this year include Edward Snowden and Diana Ross.

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