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Year in review: The top social media stories of 2020 – Global News

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The year 2020 brought what seemed like a year’s worth of news headlines each week. From wildfires sweeping Australia to protests marching through cities across the globe, and then a global pandemic brought life as we knew it to a halt.
While it’s one thing for news editors to decide which stories make it onto a year-end list based on news value and impact, it’s a complete different list when readers decide which ones were worth the click.
This is that list: the standout stories as decided by YOU — determined by most comments, interactions and shares on Global News’ social media accounts
In January, Team Canada won their first medal for hockey in Europe since winning gold at the Czech Republic World Juniors in 2008.
The championship saw Akil Thomas score with 3:58 left in the third period, leading the team to a victory in a moment that will be remembered in Canadian hockey history.
— #WorldJuniors (@HC_WJC) January 5, 2020

February saw devastating wildfires sweeping across much of Australia. The video below shows a koala living his best recovery life at a wildlife park on Kangaroo Island while getting a belly rub from an Australian Defence Force officer.
The Global News audience seemed to be happy to know that the injured koalas were being well cared for, with the video racking up a whopping 1.3 million views. 
One Twitter user went so far as to tweet that they wished that they had this job.
How do you apply for this job? ❤️❤️
— Feline Groovy and Happy Trump Lost 😸 (@GroovyFeline) February 5, 2020

Due to the blazes, tens of thousands of koalas were taken to wildlife centres with severe burns, some having lost their entire families.
It is estimated that nearly half of Australia’s koala population perished in the wildfires.
Watch the video of these injured marsupials being shown love by army officials.
Spring break festivities had officially been cancelled in Miami, Fla., but that didn’t stop hordes of 20-somethings from flocking to the city’s beaches anyway, defying all lockdown measures that had been put in place to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“If I get corona, I get corona,” said one spring breaker. “I’m not going to let it stop me from partying.”
It is also believed that this is where the term ‘covidiot’ was born.
One Facebook user was so distraught that he left the comment pictured below on a Global News post regarding the incident.
Read more: 'Like, we're here': Spring breakers defy coronavirus fears to party
On April 3, U.S. based company 3M said it had been asked by the Trump administration not to supply N95 respirators to Canada amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
At the time, demand for personal protective equipment — gloves, gowns, face shields and the all-important N95 masks — had been soaring around the world as overtaxed doctors, nurses and hospitals struggled to manage the spikes they were seeing in coronavirus cases while also protecting themselves from infection.
The company said the move raised “humanitarian” concerns.
At first, a Belgian man thought the noise coming from his outdoor planter was pesky pigeons. Turns out, it was Europe’s largest owl — four of them.
The Eurasian eagle owl, one of the world’s largest owls, set up camp in the man’s third story planter and since the mother owl’s three gigantic chicks hatched, they had taken to watching TV through the window with their new landlord.
The above post was interacted with 43, 000 times on Facebook alone and the story garnered over 95,000 interactions across all social media platforms.
Guinness World Records recognizes the species (also known as Bubo bubo) as the largest owl in the world, with a wingspan of more than 1.5 metres.
They have no natural predators and a long lifespan of 20 years in the wild, but can live up to 60 years in captivity.
We could hardly believe it when we got a message from Jos Baart telling us that Europe's biggest owl, the Eurasian eagle-owl, had made a nest in a planter in front of his window. Not only that, she had also hatched three giant chicks!#vroegevogels #springwatch #owl
— Vroege Vogels (@VroegeVogels) May 18, 2020

News of a Calgary family spotting an extremely rare grizzly bear cub on a road trip brought people scrambling to Global News’ social pages.
The story caused a strong online reaction, with the initial Facebook post reaching nearly 4 million people, and racking up 101,000 interactions.
A majority of the comments on the post were people desperately hoping that this majestic woodland creature would be kept safe from hunters.
Catch a glimpse of the white-headed grizzly in the video below.
Just like in June, July belonged to the bears.
A rare white grizzly bear sighting in British Columbia captured the attention of people across Canada.
The video below has been viewed over 650,000 times across Global News’ associated Facebook pages alone.
Turns out, the bear, named Nakoda by locals, has been seen before in Yoho and Banff national parks, but not very often.
Parks Canada has previously said the bear is not albino, but actually a natural colour phase variation that makes it white.
Read more: Rare white grizzly bear captured on camera in B.C. park
One of the stories in August that had the Global News audience talking the most was about onions. Yes, onions.
In August, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency expanded a recall put in place on July 30 of onions from the United States that that were linked to 17 salmonella hospitalizations in Canada.
While the initial recall was only for red onions, the company soon added yellow, white and sweet yellow onions distributed by the company, Thomson International.
The Global News Facebook page erupted shortly after the story being posted, with 315,000 people clicking to read the story, and nearly 50,000 likes and comments left on the post.
At the time there were a total of 120 cases of salmonella in Canada linked to the onions, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. The impacted provinces were British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Prince Edward Island.
In the U.S., federal health officials said nearly 400 people in more than 30 states had reported cases of salmonella linked to onions.
Read more: Avoid all onions with unclear origins amid growing salmonella outbreak: warning
We seem to get the hint that the Global News audience loves animal content.
The social post earning the highest engagement for the month of September was that of baby snow leopard bonding with her mother at the Brookfield Zoo in Illinois.
Views came in by the hundreds of thousands, and 70,000 Facebook users dropped a heart or a thumbs-up on the video. After watching the video, users rushed to the comment section to share just how cute they thought the baby snow leopard was.
Watch the heartwarming video below.
A three-month-old snow leopard cub made her public debut at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Ill., after bonding with her mother behind the scenes.
— (@globalnews) September 9, 2020

Dwight Turner, a 50-year-old man from Florida just wanted to get-up-close and personal with some big wildcats.
Turner forked over $150 to “play with it, rub its belly and take pictures,” according to reports by local station WPLG. The cat enthusiast got a lot closer with the big cat when it charged Turner, and took “took his head in its mouth,” said his attorney.
Over 750,000 people clicked the link to the story when Global News shared the story to Facebook to see what the outcome of this story was.
The result was the leopard ripping off part of the victim’s scalp and tearing his ear in half, requiring multiple surgeries, officials said.
Turner did make a full recovery, and the owner was due to appear in court Dec. 2, as he was unauthorized to allow full-contact experiences.
If you are a collector of old Canadian currency, this one is for you.
Are you in possession of an extremely rare $500 or $1,000 bill? The Bank of Canada sent out a reminder in November that these bills, along with the $1, $2, and $25 would no longer hold legal tender status.
Sharing this story to Global News Facebook resulted in nearly 700,000 people clicking on the post to read the story, and a futher 43,000 interacting with the post.
The top commenter on the post was quick to point out that yes, while these bills do lose legal tender status, you can still bring the bill to your bank and have it exchanged for legal currency, according to the Bank of Canada.
Rare currency collectors were quick to jump in however, saying that some of these bills are highly-sought after, with some cases of the $500 being sold for more than $50,000 at auctions.
Read more: Government to phase out $1,000 bill and several older banknotes as legal tender
The premier of Manitoba made an emotional appearance on camera, pleading with residents to heed provincial health orders over the Christmas holidays.
“I will do what I believe is right, and right now we need to save lives,” Pallister said as he imposed an almost full-lockdown of his province early December.
Maybe because of how rare it is to see leaders convey emotion on camera, people flooded the Global News social media pages, earning the video the highest-engaging post for the month of December.
Nearly one million people viewed the video posted to the main Global News Facebook page, with almost 70,000 people interacting with the post.
The premier’s words resounded with one Nova Scotian, whose comment became the most-liked on the post.
And that is a wrap of our social coverage for the 2020 year. We wish all of you the best for 2021 on behalf of Global News. We look forward to your interactions on our social posts in the new year!
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