As the end of the year approaches, the annual release of Twitter’s #Thishappened is a summation of the most trending topics, conversations, and people on the Internet. In #Thishappened2020, it is no surprise that the #COVID19 is the top hashtag of the year, and #StayHome is the third biggest hashtag on Twitter. But in general, to say the least, a lot has happened this year all across the globe. To reflect on some of the major events that have happened this year, let’s take a look at the top five most retweeted tweets of the year.
1. Chadwick Boseman’s passing
— Chadwick Boseman (@chadwickboseman) August 29, 2020
The most retweeted tweet of the year was the announcement of Chadwick Boseman’s passing on August 28th. Chadwick Boseman was diagnosed with stage III colon cancer in 2016. Over the past four years, his cancer progressed to stage IV. News of his passing was deeply saddening and shocking for us all, as his struggle with cancer was kept private and was not shared with the public until the announcement of his death.
He filmed several films while undergoing chemotherapy and numerous surgeries. He was a true fighter. Throughout his career, he portrayed a number of Black icons on film as well, including Jackie Robinson, James Brown, and Thurgood Marshall. As the star of the blockbuster film Black Panther, he inspired people from all generations. Black Panther remains the only Marvel Studios film to receive a best picture Oscar nomination. Chadwick Boseman will always be remembered as a kind and talented hero.
2. BTS’s Jungkook singing a cover of “Never Not”
Never Not 💜 pic.twitter.com/Ag9oUTJvrN
— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) May 2, 2020
If you do not listen to BTS, what is stopping you? The second most retweeted tweet of the year is from BTS’s Twitter account. The seven members, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V, and Jungkook, have made the most of 2020 despite the unfortunate circumstances of COVID-19. They reached the Billboard Hot 100 chart for the first time with their song “Dynamite.” Then they did again with the title track of their latest album BE, called “Life Goes On.” And let’s not forget about their Grammy nomination and being TIME magazine’s Entertainer of the Year.
Here in the video, we have BTS’s youngest member, Jungkook, mesmerizing us all with his amazing voice. Jungkook is singing the song “Never Not,” which is a song by artist Lauv. Lauv and BTS have collaborated on BTS’s song “Make It Right” and Lauv’s song “Who.”
If you have not listened to this cover, you are missing out!
3. Two Deadly Viruses are Killing Americans: COVID-19 and Racism
What a headline pic.twitter.com/x8GGKL0VMc
— King Myle$ (@1kingmyles) May 28, 2020
On May 27th, the CNN Tonight’s chyron read, “Two Deadly Viruses are killing Americans: COVID and RACISM,” as CNN’s Don Lemon spoke about racism and the coronavirus. This broadcast took place the night after the death of George Floyd. The weight and reality of this statement were felt around the globe, including by Twitter user @1kingmyles who wrote, “What a headline,” when he posted a picture of Don Lemon during the broadcast. In the broadcast, Lemon states, “That there are two viruses killing Americans, COVID-19 and Racism-20.”
George Floyd was arrested in Minneapolis after the police were called because a store owner speculated that he was trying to use a counterfeit bill to buy cigarettes. During his arrest, officers Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao were captured on video kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s back, while office Derek Chauvin is seen kneeling on Mr. Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and 46 seconds. While being pinned to the ground, Mr. Floyd indicated multiple times that he could not breathe. He called for help, and so did those watching the arrest take place. The police bodycam transcripts record that Mr. Floyd said that he could not breathe over 20 times. Despite his pleas, they pinned him down until he was unconscious and unresponsive.
Following the death of Mr. Floyd, all four men were fired from the Minneapolis Police Department. On May 29th, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter charges were announced against Derek Chauvin as the former officer did not remove his knee even after Mr. Floyd became unconscious. On June 3rd, Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng, and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder charges.
After the death of George Floyd, thousands of people from across the United States and around the globe went out to protest for Black lives and against racial injustice. Protests went on for months. Additionally, social users were also voicing their outrage and speaking out about the Black Lives Matter movement. People began buying books on racism, having conversations about racism, and trying to educate themselves.
In 2020, racism and virus have ravaged the United States. Police and law enforcement disproportionally killing Black people is nothing new and the disparities between white and black healthcare have always been prevalent. Like Don Lemon said in his segment, this just the latest manifestations of the same injustices and issues.
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) May 27, 2020
Structural inequalities and racism are what lead to the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Rayshard Brooks, and many more this year. At the same time, structural inequalities and racism have led to economic and healthcare disparities contributing to the disproportionate number of Black people being impacted by the pandemic and dying due to the pandemic.
The United States and the world need to continue to have conversations about race and fight against racial injustices in our communities. The year 2020 and the pandemic come to end, but the racism and the racial inequalities that Black people face in their everyday lives will still be there unless we work to change them.
4. “Quarantine Day 6” and sock puppets
Quarantine day 6. pic.twitter.com/er652Oy3Ki
— jamie (@gnuman1979) March 16, 2020
I am sure we have all been bored this year and have been on the search for something to do while social distancing and quarantining. Some people have learned how to sew, done puzzles, or watched every show on Netflix. Twitter user @gnuman1979 seemed to skip all of that and went straight to YouTube!
He seemed to have found something he liked because he posted a nine-second video from YouTube and captioned it “Quarantine Day 6.” The video is called “My Pet Sock Eating Cars.” It was uploaded by the account eastcoast78, and people seemed to love it! It is a video of a person wearing a sock puppet that is pretending to eat cars as they drive past a window. It is simple and creative. For some reason, a lot of people seem to love the video! I’ll admit that the background music is pretty catchy.
I wonder how many people have tried this at home since seeing this viral tweet!
5. Congratulations to the Astronauts
Congratulations to the Astronauts that left Earth today. Good choice
— Andy Milonakis (@andymilonakis) May 30, 2020
Lastly, we have a tweet from Andy Milonakis. Andy Milonakis is an American comedian. He is best known for his show on MTV, The Andy Milonakis Show, and streaming on Twitch. In his tweet, he wrote, “Congratulations to the Astronauts that left Earth today. Good choice.” I am guessing a lot of people agreed with him because of the massive response that he received on Twitter. A lot has happened this year; seeking peace and refuge in space may actually be a solid plan!
The astronauts Milonakis is referring to is the SpaceX launch on May 30th at the Kennedy Space Center. The launch of SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft, Demo-2, marks the first launch with American astronauts on American soil since the Space Shuttle Program came to a halt in 2011. The spacecraft is commercially built and carried astronauts, Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley. The shuttle successfully docked at the International Space Station. NASA and SpaceX teams worked together to accomplish this mission.
It is clear to us all that 2020 has been a year of too many extreme highs and lows to count. The five most retweeted tweets of 2020 simply capture a few of the moments that impacted the world this year. There are a number of other events that greatly impacted the global, from politics to sports, that are reflected in Twitter’s end of the year roundup. For instance, the top three hashtags on Twitter for the year were #COVID19, #BLACKLIVESMATTER, and #STAYHOME.
If you want to reflect more on this long year’s hashtags and trending, Twitter #Thishappened2020 has rounded up every from the most liked tweet to the most used emoji! Hopefully, when we are looking back on this year, we can take what we have learned and use that knowledge to make positive changes for 2021.
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