Top five trending hashtags

The news you missed during your busy week.

Sports and national news reigned this week, which only makes nuanced tweeting harder. If you’re behind in the headlines, check out these hashtags for a quick update before the week ahead.


Kevin Ward Jr., a 20-year-old race car driver, was hit and killed by a car at Canandaigua Motorsports Park on Saturday after spinning out during a race. Although the incident is still under investigation, the driver of the car, 43-year-old NASCAR racer Tony Stewart, initially said he would race in Sunday’s NASCAR Sprint Cup at Watkins Glen International race track. He changed his mind Sunday, but that didn’t stop social media speculation. Apparently, because the two racers were trying to edge each other out during the race, that means Stewart purposefully ran over Ward. It’s a good thing there aren’t people paid to look into these kinds of things. Oh wait.

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Former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel played his first professional game for the Cleveland Browns on Saturday. Although his playing wasn’t notable, his name still managed to top other tweets, mostly because social media users enjoy creating new nicknames for him every time he goes on the field. The NFL newbie finished 7-for-11 for 63 yards with six rushes for 27 yards. And with that, they swapped his once “Johnny Football” name for “Johnny Preseason.” Creativity is lacking, folks.

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#Airstrikes #Obama

On Thursday, President Obama announced he had authorized limited airstrikes against Islamic militant group, ISIS. And on Friday, the U.S. military launched a series of airstrikes in northern Iraq, the first time American fighter jets and armed drones have attacked targets in Iraq since the 2011 troop withdrawal.  Although many social media posters said they hoped the strikes would be stop soon, Obama said Saturday that U.S. intervention “…is going to be a long-term project.”

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The recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa is the largest of its kind, and while it has caused more than 1,000 deaths, researchers have been honing in on one: the first one. On Saturday, the New York Times reported researchers had linked the first case back to “patient zero,” a 2-year-old who died from the disease in southeastern Guinea in December. From him, the outbreak spread to family members, traveling doctors and, eventually, multiple cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Epidemiologists think it will take months to get said outbreak under control, so this won’t be the last time tweets like this one are trending.

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So maybe double dog dares are a little juvenile, but according to social media, regression is acceptable as long as it’s for a good cause. This week, the ALS Association spearheaded such a challenge: Participants in the “Ice Bucket Challenge” doused themselves in, well, ice to raise money and awareness for ALS, the neurodegenerative disease more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Once they’d completed the challenge and posted a video of their their mid-August polar bear plunge online, chilled philanthropists could nominate a friend to do the same. No pressure, though, there are only a few million people watching.

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