Global Twitter Trends of the Week, Vol 85

There are over 300 million tweets sent from around the world every day. Because Twitter has become such a major source for global news and conversations, we pull weekly trends to discover what the world is talking about. Here are some of the highlights:

Top Overall Twitter Trend: Nelson Mandela

Flags are flying at half-mast in South Africa in honour of Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday. The anti-apartheid icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner is being mourned worldwide and a steady outpouring of grief and condolences from world leaders, politicians, diplomats and millions around the globe can be seen on Twitter. Here are some of those reactions:

Top Politics: Ukraine

Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have swarmed the streets of Kiev this week, to protest against the government’s decision to back away from a deal with the European Union. The deal would have established political and free trade agreements between the EU and the Ukraine, although it faced strong opposition from Russia. Moving images have been put onto social media sites since it first started, as well as words of hope, strength and determination. The decision by Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych spurred pro-European protesters to take to the streets, and the movement has gained steam by the day. On Nov. 24, estimates put 100,000 people in the streets. By Tuesday, that number had swelled to 1 million, according to The New York Times. Initially, the protesters demanded the president reverse his decision but, after he refused to do so, they began asking for his resignation. The movement has been joined by Ukraine’s top boxer, Vitali Klitschko, who’s now eyeing the presidency:

Top Holiday News: Happy Hanukkah

Candles in Menorahs were lit around the world this week, as people celebrated the Jewish festival of Hanukkah. This year, the religious holiday overlapped with American Thanksgiving for the first time in 125 years. An up-and-coming girl band named HAIM (comprised of a trio of Jewish sisters from California) performed Adam Sandler’s popular Chanukah Song on BBC Radio – a rendition that has been making everyone feel festive, whether they observe the tradition or not. Their cover of the song went viral this week, after many celebrating sent tweets to friends and family wishing them a very happy holiday.

Top News: Tom Daley

Twitter was buzzing this week after 19-year-old UK Olympic diver Tom Daley released a video on YouTube explaining “come spring this year, my life changed massively when I met someone and it made me feel so happy, so safe… That someone is a guy.” Tweets of support and care came at Daley from around the world. In 2009, Daley won the 10-metre platform gold at the World Championships (he was only 15), then going on to take the bronze medal in the same event at last year’s London Olympics. Daley says in the five-minute video clip, which he published Monday, that he wanted “to put an end to all the rumours and speculation, and just say it, tell you guys,” adding “is it a big deal? I don’t think so.”

Interested in what happened in the United States this week on Twitter? Check out our USA Top Twitter Trends of the Week.