TOP HASHTAG PICKS OF THE MONTH
On Sunday, May 6, Lebanese people cast their votes in the parliamentary elections for the first time in nine years. The day was packed with action and the corresponding hashtag in both its Arabic and English (#Lebaneseelections) variations stole the spotlight in every way, as Twitter users commented on the electoral procedure, tracked down violations (often through pictures and videos) and tweeted their support for preferred candidates. Many of the tweets were centered around independent candidates, emphasizing the importance of bringing new blood to the Lebanese political scene.
After preliminary results of the Lebanese parliamentary elections revealed Lebanese author and 'Koullouna Watani' candidate Joumana Haddad had won a seat in the new parliament, it turned out that Free Patriotic Movement candidate Antoine Pano had actually won the seat as per the official results, which put an end to the celebrations and sent Haddad’s supporters into an online frenzy. The shocking news lead to the birth of the hashtag, #Joumanadeputy (in Arabic) by which Twitter users protested multiple violations in the voting/vote counting process and declared Haddad as a winner to them regardless of the results.
The world’s most awaited event of the year i.e. the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle was held on May 19, prompting the corresponding hashtag to the very top of Twitter’s trends both before, during and after the ceremony. Pictures, tweets and memes filled every user’s timeline as the wedding unfolded, making it one of the most talked about events of 2018. In a tweet that went viral minutes after it was posted, Twitter user Sarah Rogers spotted an uncanny resemblance between Pippa Middleton’s floral dress and one of Arizona iced tea can.
May 17 marked the first day of the holy month, prompting #Ramadan to the top of Twitter’s trending hashtags worldwide, with users exchanging wishes and fun tweets pertaining to the occasion. As usual, Ramadan series were a topic of concern to many, whether in terms of expressing their opinion on the different Ramadan series airing on local TV channels or just commenting the yearly Ramadan series phenomenon. “Am I the only human being who’s not planning to watch any Ramadan series?” one user wrote. “So many ramadan series..so little time,” another user lamented.
US President Donald Trump misspelled his wife Melania’s name in a tweet on May 19, triggering a full-fledged Twitter storm of jokes and criticism. In the infamous tweet, Trump referred to the First Lady as ‘Melanie’ as he reassured the public that she was doing well and welcomed her home following an surgical procedure she underwent to treat a kidney condition. Melanie instantly became a twitter trend, as is often the case with Trump’s Twitter mishaps (remember covfefe?). “Wonderful. But do tell us more about this Melanie,” a user wrote. “I’m just relieved that he accidentally said Melanie and not Ivanka,” another user joked.
Monday 14 marked another sad day for Palestine after 60 people were killed in a brutal Israeli attack on Gaza, just as the US inaugurated its new embassy in Jerusalem. The strike sparked international outrage on social media and among many of the world’s leaders, especially that victims were unarmed protesters. The #Gaza hashtag instantly trended, as people all over the world expressed outrage at the massacre and showed their support for the Palestinian people.