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Election, Olympics, and Chewbacca Mom! Facebook reveals 2016's biggest moments

Facebook unveiled its most talked-about topics and its most-watched Facebook Live videos for 2016.
/ Source: TODAY

From the presidential election to the hysteria over Pokemon Go, there were plenty of memorable moments that had people talking on Facebook this year.

The company revealed its 10 most-talked about global moments of 2016 on Thursday, which were measured by how frequently a topic was mentioned in Facebook posts between Jan. 1 and Nov. 27. For the first time, Facebook also shared its Top 10 most popular Facebook Live videos, which were based on aggregate views.

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In an interview with Savannah Guthrie, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged that people come to Facebook to share the moments that matter to them, and the items on the list are "always a reflection of those moments."

Facebook 2016 Year in Review: The most-talked about global moments

1. U.S. presidential election

Donald Trump
The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States dominated the conversation on Facebook this year. Ty Wright / Getty Images

The contentious campaign between president-elect Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton dominated seemingly all aspects of American life this year to grab the top spot.

2. Brazilian politics

The impeachment of former president Dilma Rousseff in August, the installment of new president Michel Temer, and ongoing allegations of bribery and corruption characterized a turbulent year in the Brazilian government.

3. Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go took over the world upon its release in July Reuters

Whether it was people injuring themselves, being led into an armed robbery or generally losing their minds over Pokemon Go, hysteria over the mobile game that had people searching the real world for virtual creatures was a huge topic over the summer. On the flip side, the game also helped a boy with autism come out of his shell, brightened patients' days at a children's hospital, and helped local businesses attract more customers.

4. Black Lives Matter

Supporters and detractors of the activist movement spearheaded by African-Americans to fight systemic racism and violence by police against people of color both flocked to Facebook to discuss the group's protests and statements.

5. Rodrigo Duterte and Philippines presidential election

The controversial president of the Philippines has made headlines for everything from angry comments about President Obama and the Philippines' relationship with the United States to his brutal campaign to wipe out the drug trade that has resulted in thousands of deaths.

6. Olympics

Swimming - Olympics: Day 4
Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian in history, was one of the headliners this summer in Rio de Janeiro on his way to five gold medals to cap his career. David Ramos / Getty Images

Rio de Janeiro became the first South American city to ever host the Olympics, and the Americans made themselves right at home with the most gold medals (46) and the most medals overall (121) by any of the 205 countries participating. The Games in Brazil were also the last ones for legendary Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps and sprinter Usain Bolt, who combined to win eight gold medals before retiring from Olympic competition.

7. Brexit

The U.S. election was presaged by the referendum vote in June in which United Kingdom citizens voted to leave the European Union. Brexit, which is shorthand for Britain's exit for the EU, won by a vote of 52-48 percent with more than 30 million people voting. It also resulted in a new British prime minister, Theresa May, who took over for David Cameron following his resignation the day after the voting.

8. Super Bowl

Peyton Manning and daughter
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning ended his record-setting career as a Super Bowl champion. Sean M. Haffey / Getty Images

Annually the nation's top-rated television broadcast, the Denver Broncos' 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers was the third-most watched program in U.S. history with 111.9 million viewers. The Broncos' win also marked the final game of future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, who went out with the second Super Bowl victory of his career.

9. David Bowie

David Bowie performing during a concert in Vienna
David Bowie was one of several music legends who passed away in 2016. LEONHARD FOEGER / Reuters

The world mourned the death of the legendary music star on Jan. 10 after an 18-month battle with cancer. Bowie, who died just days after his 69th birthday, released his final album, "Blackstar," just two days before his death. He was one of several music legends the world lost in 2016, including Prince, Merle Haggard, Glenn Frey and Leonard Cohen.

10. Muhammad Ali

Boxing legend Muhammad Ali dies at the age of 74
The death of Muhammad Ali, one of the greatest sports figures of the past century, had people mourning across the world. LAS VEGAS NEWS BUREAU / EPA

"The Greatest of All Time" passed away on June 3 at 74 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. The legendary boxer, considered one of the greatest sports figures of the 20th Century, is the only three-time heavyweight champion in history. He also was known for his activism, particularly his refusal to be conscripted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

Top 10 Facebook Live videos

This was the year that Facebook Live conquered the world. The live-streaming option brought everything from a mom laughing infectiously in a Chewbacca mask to reactions to the outcome of the presidential election to Facebook users in real time.

Here are the top 10 based on global views.

1. Candace Payne, Chewbacca Mom

2. Ted Yoder, Soundscapes

3. Buzzfeed, Countdown to the next presidential election

4. Atlanta Buzz, People are lining up to hug police officers in Dallas

5. NBC News, Election results

6. Under the Hood, Video of a truck completely carved out of wood

7. Viral Thread, Population count from US to CA

8. CNN, Election results on Empire State Building

9. Dena Blizzard, Pokemon Go for moms called "Chardonnay Go"

10. Super Deluxe, Election map

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.