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Trudeau and Chicken Nuggets: How Canadians Tweeted in 2017

Step aside celebrity-packed Oscar selfie, a teen’s plea for free chicken nuggets from Wendy’s was the most retweeted post by Canadians this year—and of all time.

Although Carter Wilkerson, aka The Nugget Kid, didn’t reach the requested 18 million, he did generate over 3.6 million retweets and nearly one million likes on the April 5 tweet. The 17-year-old also got his nuggets.

On the other end of Twitter’s spectrum, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s #WelcomeToCanada message on January 28 came on the heels of U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order on immigration, a new travel ban that barred entry of those from Muslim-dominant countries including Iraq, Syria, Iran and Libya. Almost half a million Twitter users shared Trudeau’s message of support and acceptance.

In the third spot, Ellen Degeneres’ tweet about Canada’s own #BellLetsTalk earned more than 305,000 retweets. The telecom giant’s hashtag-based initiative commits 5 cents for every post on social media that includes the hashtag. Using that calculation, Degeneres’ tweet alone would have generated $15,000 for mental health programs in the country.

The Bell-devised hashtag also was the second most popular mention on Twitter this year. But the top mention goes to a hockey team with one of the country’s most loyal fan bases, and no, it’s not the Toronto Maple Leafs and their 50-year Stanley Cup dry spell.

The most mentioned hashtag of the year was #GoHabsGo, after none other than the Canadiens. Not so fast, Montreal. It should be mentioned the team uses the hashtag at home games as part of a challenge where fans can unlock promo codes towards a sports merchandise site and win Habs swag.

Rounding out the top five most mentioned hashtags this year by Canadians were: #cdnpoli, #Toronto, and #Canada150, the last which earned 1.8 million mentions this year.

As for the most mentions by Canadian Twitter users, Trudeau came out top—although that might not be a good thing for Canada’s PM considering the barrage of hate that many country leaders receive on the platform.

Both the Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) and the Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL) earned the second and third most mentions—not reflective of how they finished in their league’s standings this year—while the last two in the top five list were the Globe and Mail (@globeandmail) and Canada’s public broadcaster the CBC (@CBCNews).

With Twitter’s decade-long evolution into an information sharing platform, its proved to be a hub for spreading breaking news and events.

The Women’s March on January 21 earned 350,000 mentions by Canadians in the month alone. The passing of Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie resulted in 300,000 tweets within the first 48 hours after news of his death.

The death of the beloved singer and advocate of Indigenous rights also was the second most talked about moment on Facebook this year, while the late Downie was also crowned Canada’s newsmaker of the year.

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