The headlines of 2022, chosen by Twitter

Thousands of Twitter users vote on their favorite headlines of the year, a collection curated from two dozen goofy stories.

The directory competition is led by a University of Calgary researcher and includes some obvious news personalities – the rise and fall of NFTs, for example, has been an easy topic for editors around the world.

Rounding out the list are stories of misplaced art, eight animal stories (nine, if you include the 40 roast chickens eaten by a Philadelphia man), and two in which the derriere plays a starring role.

The headlines on Friday morning are:

  • The City of Ottawa wants to hear your opinions on waste
  • Man Who Paid $2.9M for NFT of Jack Dorsey’s First Tweet Set to Lose Nearly $2.9M
  • Coffey urges staff to be positive, to be specific and not to use Oxford commas
  • Monkey Who Was Flushed And Fed Cocaine Now Has A Boyfriend

Paul Fairie, a researcher and lecturer at the UofC who goes by the hilt @Paulisci on Twitter, has been running a year-end headline contest on the platform for the past five years. So far this year, over 25,000 votes have been cast.

The title topping this year’s 24-pack is even a bit of a tribute to the social media service, which users often refer to as a « dumpster fire. »

“The main competitor is definitely that the City of Ottawa wants your opinion on waste,” says Fairie. « I think what I love about it is that it’s such a boring story. Any attempt to glamorize municipal infrastructure, I appreciate. »

Fairie keeps tabs on the headlines throughout the year, and as the contest has attracted more popular people, they’re posting their top picks regularly. When finalizing his list, he aims for a variety of calls.

« There’s obviously the one pulling the chord, the cocaine monkey, who was flushed down the toilet, finding love. »

Those who will succeed are not the same as his personal favorites. For those, Fairie says he’s going for the nicer ones. This year, he says « space chorizo » fits that bill, with the added bonus that the story’s star angle adds some Christmas flair.

« The weirdest thing is that now in my head I’m associating this with a Christmas activity, I’m like, ‘OK, it’s Christmas, it’s definitely time for a collection of fun titles,' » explains Fairie.

Fairie says the contest started in 2018 just as a way to have fun. That year, 1,300 people voted for the winner: Plumage à trois: Thomas the blind bisexual goose who was stuck in a two-decade love triangle with two swans dies at the age of 40.

Other past winners include:

  • 2019: The penguins ignore the police, go back to the sushi shop (the storythe competition)

  • 2020: The hospital angrily denies the snake discovered in the operating room, insisting that there was only one monkey (the storythe competition)

  • 2021: When an eel climbs up a ramp to eat squid with claws, it is a moray eel (the storythe competition)

To make the « official » installment of Fairie, headlines earn points through RTs (one point each), likes (one point each), and views (every 1,000 views count as one point, which helps to sever ties, says Fairie).

To vote, or see today’s results, go to Fairie’s Twitter account. The winner will be announced on New Year’s Eve.


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