Day for women tops Aussie Facebook talk

Marnie Banger

A plethora of posts celebrating women on International Women's Day have helped make it the topic Australians talked about most on Facebook in 2017.

Facebook has released its annual list of what most captured the attention of its 15 million Australian users throughout the year, with the March 8 day leading it for the first time.

Director of policy for Facebook Australia and New Zealand Mia Garlick says the result comes in what was a "big year" for discussions by and about women.

She said globally that has included talk about women's marches and the 'me too' movement aimed at raising awareness of sexual harassment and assault.

"This was the year for conversations about women on the platform," she said.

The Melbourne Cup in November generated the second-greatest level of interest among Australians on Facebook this year, followed by the debate about same-sex marriage throughout the year.

The fourth most-popular topic was Qantas, which Ms Garlick said was helped by a series of big announcements from the airline, a competition to name its Dreamliner aircraft and its involvement in the same-sex marriage discussion.

The deaths of American singer Chris Cornell and Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington were also of particular concern to Australians.

Adding a political face to the list was Attorney General George Brandis, the sixth most-discussed topic, thanks in part to some of his speeches on marriage equality and Senator Pauline Hanson wearing a burqa in the chamber.

"That got quite widespread dissemination on the platform," Ms Garlick said.

Sport was also represented, with Roger Federer and the clash between Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor gaining traction on the social media site.

The bombing at Manchester in May rounded out the list of top Facebook topics.

TOP MOMENTS ON FACEBOOK IN AUSTRALIA IN 2017:

1. International Women's Day

2. Melbourne Cup

3. Same-sex marriage decision

4. Qantas

5. Death of US musician Chris Cornell

6. Attorney-General George Brandis

7. Floyd Mayweather Jr and Conor McGregor boxing match

8. Death of Linkin Park frontman Chester Bennington

9. Roger Federer

10. Manchester attack