This Week on Twitter: Tragedy Trends High

HootSuite's Twitter Week in Review, August 24-30

By Published on .

Our Twitter Week in Review chart uses data collected and parsed for Ad Age by the What the Trend (WTT) unit of HootSuite, the social-media management dashboard with more than 4 million users. (Last week's chart is right over here.) We're back today with Volume 22 . Scroll below the infographic for some context -- and watch for a fresh edition of our Twitter Week in Review each Friday.

  • Grim cases of missing and murdered children don't just make sensational headlines on "Nancy Grace" and other U.S. cable outlets, as evidenced by Jose Breton's place in the trends list this week. Breton was arrested in Spain last fall after his two children went missing, with police suspecting he was involved. This past week, evidence found at a bonfire site on his family's property were confirmed to be human remains belonging to his two missing children. Breton still insists he's innocent, but he's all but convicted in the eyes of many vocal Twitterers.
  • The fire at the Venezuelan oil refinery Amuay
    The fire at the Venezuelan oil refinery Amuay Credit: Bloomberg/Jose Orozco

  • Though it didn't make the biggest headlines in the U.S. amid the din of the Republican National Convention and Hurricane Isaac, the disaster at the Venezuelan oil refinery Amuay was the No. 1 concern for Twitterers worldwide this past week. On Aug. 25, the Amuay refinery became engulfed in flames following a massive explosion caused by a gas leak. The fire burned for four days, killing 48 people and destroying as many as 500 homes in the area.
  • Of course, Neil Armstrong's death made a big impact on Twitter, with many making quips playing on his famous words, "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." News of the trailblazing astronaut's death was the kind of thing Twitterers live for -- combining a notable death, a short, famous quote and the subject of space, already a hot topic this summer following the Mars Curiousity rover landing.
  • Aug. 25 marked 11 years since American R&B singer Aaliyah died in a plane crash in the Bahamas, and though many of Twitter's youngest users are a bit too young to remember her, many more shared memories and their favorite songs by the singer. Her overloaded private plane crashed while taking off after the singer wrapped production on what would be her last music video, "Rock the Boat."
  • Speaking of tween Twitterers, this week's One Direction trends were limited to three. "Happy Birthday Liam" celebrates band member Liam Payne's 19th birthday; "1D Land" is apparently a fictional place, or a state of mind, in which fans of the band live virtually (this is still, admittedly, a bit unclear); and finally "VoteOneDirection" is an attempt by fans to nominate the band for an MTV Video Music Award (also a trend) in the new category of "Most Share-Worthy Video" (a phrase that appears on the memes list).
  • Though New Orleans trended high this week thanks to Hurricane Isaac hitting the beleaguered city on the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, notably absent from the top 10 global trends this week is any reference to the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Though, perhaps it's little surprise -- as we know, Republicans aren't the most engaged political segment on Twitter. (Then again, the final night of the convention proved the most social campaign event so far, and the Democrats' convention next week is going up against the return of the NFL and the aforementioned MTV Video Music Awards.)

  • For explanations of trends and memes not covered above, visit HootSuite's What the Trend.
  • Help HootSuite's What the Trend define trends by following WTT: Define Now (@whatthetrend). And stay up to date on the latest HootSuite product-update details and company news by following @hootsuite.

    Most Popular