As the year draws to an end, Facebook is revealing the news articles that grabbed the most attention on the social network in 2011. Unsurprisingly, the wrap-up spans a range of subjects from celebrity deaths to weather disasters, and even a few viral videos that you may have forgotten.
The most shared article on Facebook this year came from The New York Times, which published exclusive satellite photos of the Japanese tsunami disaster back in March, along with the subsequent nuclear fallout in the months following.
A different story from Yahoo's Lookout Blog also made it into the top 10, but equally memorable footage shows a shivering dog refusing to leave another injured canine stuck in the rubble; a follow-up article on CNN documents the same dog's rescue from the shores of the Miyagi prefecture.
I also remember plenty of folks Facebook-linking to an editorial in The Wall Street Journal back in January that outlined the formula for raising stereotypically successful Asian kids. The essay caught fire among parents and children of all races, and even prompted a response in the NYT that also earned a spot in Facebook's most-shared list of 2011.
Ironically, the author of the original essay also gets a head nod in GQ's list of the 25 Least Influential People Alive.
Feminism took the spotlight again in February with a Huffington Post piece that highlighted the six reasons why you're not married. It sounds like something Chris Hitchens would write, but some were surprised to see the author is a woman.
It's true that divisive articles always get the most attention on social networks, but some links posted "for the likes" are just as popular. Remember the homeless man with a "golden voice" that used his viral fame to secure a house and a full-time job with the Cleveland Cavaliers?
If this list proves anything, it's that Facebook links serve up the collective unconscious of the Internet. Have a look at Facebook's list of the most shared articles in the U.S. on Facebok over the past year.