Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

From the ice bucket challenge to the Scottish Referendum, the UK's most talked about events of 2014 on Facebook


Last year, it was Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win and the death of Margaret Thatcher. This year, the events that sparked the most conversations in the world were the passing of Robin Williams, the Scottish Referendum and the ice bucket challenge, according to just-released stats from Facebook.

Every year, the social network ranks the most discussed topics of the last 12 months in Britain and with 27 million users across the UK, it's often a good guide to the news stories that captured the nation. 

The referendum on Scottish independence  topped the list with 3.3 million interactions from UK users on polling day alone. The ice bucket challenge was the second most talked-about event, with both celebrities and the public participating in the fundraising gimmick and The World Cup in Brazil came third on the list. 

Facebook also revealed Warner Brothers Studio Tour was the most popular check-in location in the UK this year, followed by Madame Tussauds, the Tower of London, the London Eye and Old Trafford in the top five.

Take a look at the biggest events of 2014, as ranked by Facebook, below.

1. Scottish Referendum

The referendum on Scottish independence drove the most conversation on Facebook over the last 12 months. On polling day (18 September 2014) alone, 3.3 million interactions from UK users related to the referendum, of which 1.9 million took place in Scotland. In the five weeks leading up to the historic day of voting, there were over 10 million interactions about it on the social network.


2. Ice bucket challenge

What started out as a stunt among American football and golf players in America took over the world becoming the second biggest topic discussed on Facebook in the UK. Around 17 million ice bucket challenge videos were posted on the website, watched by more than 440 million people. Stars including the Beckhams, Benedict Cumberbatch and Lena Dunham took part in the charity fundraiser. 

Victoria Beckham ice bucket challenge

3. The World Cup

The global football competition from 12 June to 13 July had 350 million Facebook users mentioning it and over 3 billion interactions during the course of the event.

World Cup

4. Premier League title race

The battle to win the Premier League this year prompted thousands of shares and likes. It was eventually won by Man City.

5. Conflict in Gaza

It became the fifth most talked about event on Facebook when missiles fired to and from Gaza over seven weeks from July to August, due to the tensions between Israel and Palestine, killing over 2,000 civilians.

6. Robin Williams

The actor and comedian’s sudden death on 11 August prompted an outpouring of sorrow and tributes from his most famous films such as Aladdin, Mrs. Doubtfire and Good Will Hunting. 

Robin Williams

8. Ebola outbreak

While the Ebola outbreak was the most-discussed topic in the United States this year on Facebook, it was the eighth most talked about topic in the UK. The disease, which ravaged countries in West Africa, received extensive media coverage.

9. Champions League final

Another footballing event appeared in Facebook's rankings, this time a match between Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid in an all Spanish final of the Champions League. The game, which was took place in Portugal on 25 May, was thoroughly commented on by UK Facebook users as it unfolded.

10. Centenary of the First World War

This year the nation remembered the fallen soldiers of the First World War. One of the most gripping memorials was the ceramic poppy display at the Tower of London which thousands shared pictures of on Facebook. The royals, prime Minister David Cameron and many more were asked to plant a poppy each day leading up to Armistice Day.

Poppy tower of london



The most watched YouTube videos of 2014


The Stylist Sex Survey 2014


The 50 most memorable red carpet looks of 2014



Our kind of cauldron: darkly delicious Halloween cocktail recipes

Jacked-up Negronis and chilli-laced concoctions

by Amy Swales
25 Oct 2016

“Why we need to remove the term Essex Girl from the dictionary”

It's time to reclaim the term once and for all

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 Oct 2016

Revealed: the 20 most fashionable baby names in France

These melodic French baby names are très bien

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Oct 2016

Small fibs could turn you into a full-blown liar, study finds

“What a tangled web we weave...”

by Anna Pollitt
25 Oct 2016

Bake Off’s Mary Berry confirmed for brand-new cooking show

And it’s hitting our screens in time for a very Berry Christmas…

by Kayleigh Dray
25 Oct 2016

This 'Very British Problems' Twitter account is all of us

"Best weekend activity: a really nice sitdown"

by Sarah Biddlecombe
24 Oct 2016

13 Going on 30 is the latest film to get a musical makeover

by Amy Swales
24 Oct 2016

This streaming service is so boring it will send you to sleep

Forget Netflix and chill

by Harriet Hall
24 Oct 2016

Poldark slammed by women’s rights campaigners as “romanticising rape”

“It’s worse than if it had been a straightforward rape scene”

by Kayleigh Dray
24 Oct 2016

The selfie vs. the group photo: which actually makes us happier?

Time for an Instagram break?

by Moya Crockett
24 Oct 2016