Twitter’s 10 biggest moments of 2014

Ryan Macasero

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Twitter’s 10 biggest moments of 2014
Which Twitter posts made the most impact this year?

CALIFORNIA, USA – Twitter. This is the place where global conversations happen, where news breaks, and topics trend. 

Now, Twitter is more than a micro-blogging site that the social media platform began as. For repressive governments it’s an adversary; and democracy activists, an ally. For citizens around the world, it’s a place where the voice of an ordinary citizen can potentially reach millions of people. 

Where television and newspapers used to record the first drafts of history, with reporters recording the first account, now netizens – armed with mobile phones, laptops and the Internet – are doing it themselves. 

While there were thousands of memorable and historic moments that happened on Twitter, we narrow down 2014’s top 10 moments. 

Here are our top 10 moments on Twitter for 2014:

 1. #RIPPhilipSeymourHoffman

HOFFMAN, 46. In this file photo, Philip Seymour Hoffman arrives for the Los Angeles premiere of


Hailed as one of the “finest character actors” of his generation, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s death shocked the world. He won the Academy Award in 2006 as best actor for Capote and was nominated 3 more times. 

Celebrities, world leaders and netizens took to Twitter to express shock, condolences and other messages for the actor.


 2. #BringBackOurGirls

BringBackOurGirls. An online campaign calls for the return of stolen children. Image from Amnesty International's Twitter account


The kidnappings were horrific, brazen, unimaginable. The world learned who Boko Haram, a Nigerian terrorist group, was after they kidnapped over 200 school girls in April 2014. 

#BringBackOurGirls trended soon after. 

Here are some of the top tweets:




Check here for more Tweets. 

 3. #Sochi2014

CELEBRATION. Sochi let its hair down on Sunday, February 23, at a rollicking end-of-games Olympic party celebrating Russia's spirit and culture through the country's rich heritage of music and art. Photos from AFP


Despite the controversies that hounded the 2014 Winter Olympics, including anti-gay remarks made by Russian President Vladimir Putin, sub-par facilities and issues surrounding Sochi being used to improve the Russian President’s image, the actual games brought a lot of emotional moments for people everywhere, as shared.

For the Philippines, Michael Martinez‘ historic performance as the first and youngest Southeast Asian in Olympic figure skater, was a source of pride for Pinoys around the world.

Here are some of the event’s top tweets: 


 4. #ChickenSad 

NO FAVES AVAILABLE. Fast food giant Jollibee temporarily closed down 72 stores nationwide due to the limited availability of some of its main selling products like Chicken Joy and hamburger. File photo by Agence France-Presse


Don’t mess with Filipinos and their chicken! Was it a chicken shortage? The truck ban in Manila? A total of 72 Jollibee stores were temporarily closed on August 8, 2014, after the Filipino fast food chain ran out of their signature item: its version of fried chicken called, “Chickenjoy.”

It was found that an error in the company’s supply chain software apparently caused the chicken shortage.   

Chicken lovers across Metro Manila and nearby cities took to Twitter to express their frustrations, as well as spreading a little humor. 





But by August 17, things were #chickensad no more. 



5. Princess Sarah


It started as a Japanese anime, but a series of memes as comedic tweets have turned this well-loved character into a smart-aleck Filipino Twitter personality.



More tweets: 



 6. #RIPRobinWilliams

RIP ROBIN. Local personalities and celebrities express sadness on the death of actor Robin Williams. AFP photo/Screengrab from Twitter

The 63-year-old Academy Award-winning actor died on August 11 after a battle with depression. Stars and fans alike expressed sadness over the funny man’s death on Twitter. 

This tweet by the Academy of the Genie and Aladdin received over 300,000 retweets. Williams voiced the Genie for the Disney film. 


Check here for more


7. #Oscars

STATUE. This photo of the coveted Oscar statue was taken in 2012. Photo by Paul Buck/EPA

This year’s Academy Awards was one to remember. It didn’t matter if you had a TV or not, much of this year’s awards were tweeted. 




But this selfie by Academy Awards host Ellen Degeneres defined this year’s Oscars. The photo was retweeted over 3 million times. 


Check out our live blog for more. 

8. #WorldCup 


Germany's defender Jerome Boateng vies with Argentina's forward Gonzalo Higuain in the first half of the World Cup final. Higuain came so close to scoring for La Albiceleste twice in the match. Photo by Odd Andersen/AFP

For football fans, timezones didn’t matter. Whether you’d be groggy – or even hungover – at work the next day was irrelevant. 

Twitter reported 16.4 million tweets devoted to real-time discussion of the match between Brazil and Chile. (READ: World Cup fever strikes Facebook, Twitter

Rappler’s World Cup microsite 

9. #OccupyCentral             

PEACEFUL PROTESTS. Occupy Central protestors sit on a street in Hong Kong. Photo by Jason Y Ng

If the Chinese government had learned any lessons from the Arab Spring, it is that social media is extremely difficult to control, and  can drive real world action. 

Hong Kong being one of the more economically prosperous cities in the region, the protest now known as Occupy Central (or #OccupyCentral) in the Asian city surprised people across the region and around the world. 

Citizens of Hong Kong took the streets on September 28 to defy China’s unwillingness to grant universal suffrage to the special administrative region. 


More tweets on our #OccupyCentral live blog


10. Airline mysteries, disasters 

DEVASTATING NEWS. Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysian air carrier AirAsia flight QZ8501 react after watching news reports showing an unidentified body floating in the Java sea, inside the crisis-centre set up at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya on December 30, 2014. Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP

It was not a good year for transportation. Malaysia Airlines flight 370 (MH370) disappeared on March 8, 2014, en route to Beijing from Kuala Lampur. It is still nowhere to be found. 

The topic trended on Twitter shortly after the plane’s disappearance with over 2 million mentions related to Malaysia Airlines. (READ: MH370: Tracking social conversations


In July, another Malaysia Airlines plane was found to have been shot down over Ukraine. #MH17 and #PrayForMH17 trended soon after. (READ: Deja vu: Social media reacts to ill-fated flight #MH17

On December 28, Asia Asia flight QZ8501 went missing that took off from Surabaya, Indonesia, bound for Singapore. The plane had 162 passengers when it went missing. (READ: LIVE BLOG: AirAsia Flight QZ8501).

On December 30, another AirAsia mishap happened when a plane from Manila overshot the runway in Kalibo.

Rappler Indonesia Bureau Chief Jet Damazo-Santos, who was on the mentioned flight, Tweeted these photos of the incident:



What did you think of this list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below!  

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Nobuhiko Matsunaka


Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at