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Our top 10 most shared articles on Facebook in 2014

And the most popular ones on Twitter too.

IN THE GOOD old days, it was enough just to count the number of people who read an article.

Nowadays, articles get tweeted, Facebooked, emailed, and commented on within minutes of being published, with the result being that a significant amount of traffic for  now comes solely from social media .

The most shared articles on Facebook this year were a disparate bunch.  Unusually, a lot of them were political. Often the articles that are shared the most are about big breaking news stories – and while there are some of them here, such as the death of Robin Williams, exactly half of the stories in the top ten are politics-related.

Here’s the list in full in reverse order:

10. Poll: Should a general election be held before April 2016? Number of Facebook shares: 5,145

Presidential Elections Campaigns Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

9. Child rescue alert cancelled as two-year-0ld Hassan Khan found safe and well. Number of Facebook shares: 5,178

garda-car-14-390x285 Garda Press Office Garda Press Office

8. Sinn Féin is now the most popular party in the StateNumber of Facebook shares: 5,461

Adams Belfast election win PA Archive / Press Association Images PA Archive / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

7. Joan Burton accidentally poses with giant spliff. Number of Facebook shares: 5,734

joan-watermarked-333x500 Richard Forrest Richard Forrest

6. Tens of thousands take to the streets of Dublin to protest against water charges. Number of Facebook shares: 6,181

national-water-protest-against-water-630x419 Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

5. Mary Dunne – the O’Connell Street dancer – passes away aged 87. Number of Facebook shares: 6,322

mary-11-310x415 Who remembers the woman that danced on O'Connell St beside the Anna Livia Who remembers the woman that danced on O'Connell St beside the Anna Livia

4. Column: ’He was given a clean bill of health, walked out of the hospital and took his own life’. Number of Facebook shares: 8,637


3. Robin Williams found dead at his home in suspected suicide. Number of Facebook shares: 10,028

People-Robin Williams AP / Press Association Images AP / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

2. Hundreds of women held a silent vigil at Coolock Garda Station tonightNumber of Facebook shares: 11,167


1. Today marks 100 years since the beginning of the First World War. Number of Facebook shares: 12,480

world-war-one-kaiser-wilhelm-ii-battle-of-the-somme-630x455 PA Archive PA Archive

And let’s not leave Twitter out of it. Here are the top five most tweeted articles this year:

1. Catalonia defies Spanish government and makes independence vote officialNumber of Twitter shares: 1,274

2. Tens of thousands take to the streets of Dublin to protest against water chargesNumber of Twitter shares: 990

3. Dublin council bans animal-act circuses on public landNumber of Twitter shares: 984

4. 15-year-old Sait Canbullu found safe and well in SligoNumber of Twitter shares: 859

5. Gerry Conlon and the Guildford Four were released 25 years ago todayNumber of Twitter shares: 770

All figures correct at the time of being compiled

Read: The top 10 most read stories on this year

Read: The 10 most popular comments on in 2014 > 

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