What a year it's been, eh? With Brexit negotiations going swimmingly and the Trump presidency going from strength to strength, everyone's favourite social network Facebook has had one hell of a year itself, as shown by its own version of its cute 'Year in Review' feature.
Intended to offer snapshot of user's biggest life events of the year, Facebook's own version focuses on world events, "highlighting the top ways people around the world connected with their communities on Facebook". However, as highlighted by MIT Technology Review's The Download newsletter, they may have missed a few milestones a little closer to home.
Amidst reports from Buzzfeed News that there is an internal "bunker mentality" taking hold at the company's Menlo Park headquarters, Facebook deemed it a good time to publish its annual Year in Review.
Posted today by Sheida Neman, a research manager at Facebook, the year in review featured feel good stories like the Royal Wedding, Gareth Southgate's triumphant lads holiday at the World Cup in Russia and, of course, the Brazilian general election, which led to "top moments for conversation about voting and elections", such as, we assume, President-elect Jair Bolsonaro's desire to flatten the Amazon rainforest and extreme homophobia, and not Facebook's own inability to contain the Russian bots and the flow of fake news running through its platform.
People also "made their voices heard" on the topics of International Women’s Day and the March for Our Lives and not, bizarrely, what Wired described as 'a hurricane' of bad press following the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the wave of data privacy issues it brought with it in March.
Nor did people make their voices heard on the topic of Facebook employees chanting "domination" in meetings while it planned to crush competitors and squeeze as much profit out of its users as possible, as revealed in a trove of 250 pages of internal emails seized and revealed by a British parliamentary committee this week.
Elsewhere in Facebook's eventful year in review there was little mention of the social network's lobbying and PR dark arts efforts, led by Definers Public Affairs, or chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg's desire to smear George Soros after the liberal billionaire had criticised the company publicly.
Instead, "people came to Facebook to honour prominent figures who have had a significant impact around the world", from Avicii to Stephen Hawking.
So, how did Facebook put together it's year in review?
"The top moments of this year’s Year In Review were determined by gathering a list of the top keywords by volume mentioned in a single day on Facebook between January 1 and November 11, 2018. To identify which topics were unique to 2018, we compared these keywords to the previous year’s maximum single-day volume. This means that keywords like Mother’s Day and Halloween, which typically represent the top moments every year, do not repeatedly appear at the top of the list," Neman wrote.
What a year it has been.