In an increasingly digital world, social media platforms have become the go-to places for people to share their thoughts, opinions, and reactions about various topics. As the year comes to an end, we take a look at the top-ranking issues that dominated social media discussions among French users in 2023. These subjects delve into both local and global events, covering topics from politics and conflicts to important incidents influencing national discourse.
1. #Reformedesretraites: The Pension Reform Sparks Debates
With 5.8 million tweets in French, the pension reform held the top spot as the most debated topic on social media. Political issues were at the forefront of public discussion, with this topic garnering three times more messages than last year’s presidential election hashtag #Presidentielle2022.
2. #Macron: President Macron’s Decreased Mentions
As expected, the number of French tweets discussing President Macron decreased by 32% to 5.3 million compared to last year’s attention accrued during his election campaign. Not coincidentally, the decline coincided with the sensitive period surrounding the adoption of the pension reform.
3. #Gaza and #Hamas: Conflict in the Middle East Engages French Users
- #Gaza saw a surge with 3.4 million tweets after the October 7th Hamas attack, reflecting the online concern among French citizens in relation to the ongoing conflict in the region.
- #Hamas was mentioned independently in 1.8 million tweets, indicating individual attention given to both aspects of the escalating tensions.
4. #Israel: More Discussions Initially, Then Reversed Trend
In connection with the Middle East issues, #Israel accounted for 2.6 million tweets. Notably, at the early stages of the conflict, the hashtag was used more than #Gaza, but its usage decreased over time and reversed the initial trend.
5. #Emeutes: Domestic Unrest Takes Center Stage
Tensions in France following the death of teenager Nahel lead to violent outbreaks, which were heavily documented on social media platforms with 2.5 million French tweets sporting the hashtag #Emeutes (riots). A significant portion – 33% of messages – were posted during June 30th, a day after violence erupted across the country.
6. #Violencespolicieres: Police Brutality Cases Cause Outrage
In close association with domestic unrest, incidents involving police brutality fueled the use of the hashtag #violencespolicieres, with 1.6 million tweets in total. The highest peak of activity was reached the day after pension reform adoption, amassing 93,072 messages within just 24 hours.
7. #Ukraine: War Engagement Drives Digital Attention
The war in Ukraine featured prominently among the discussion points for French citizens on Twitter, with 1.6 million tweets discussing the ongoing crisis. Despite this interest, there has been a decline in digital attention since last year, when the number of tweets doubled concerning the conflict.
8. #Lfi: Most Mentioned Political Party on Social Media
French political party La France Insoumise (The Unsubmissive France) managed to attract considerable online attention, as they were the most mentioned party with 1.3 million tweets – a significant increase of 26% compared to their tally in 2022.
9. #Nanterre: The Nahel Incident Ignites Social Media
The death of teenager Nahel during a road check in Nanterre, Hauts-de-Seine sparked massive outrage,, leading to 1.3 million tweets containing the hashtag #Nanterre. On June 29th alone, the day when his relatives organized a protest march, around 361,000 messages accounted for nearly 26% of the total #Nanterre mentions.
10. #Nupes: Important Topic Despite Decreased Discussion
Closing this list is the Nupes, which was mentioned in 1.2 million French tweets. While still reflecting its significance, it must be noted that it received only a quarter of the attention garnered last year.
Overall, these key topics reveal the diverse interests and concerns of French social media users in 2023. As the new year begins, the nation will undoubtedly carry on reacting and sharing their thoughts on pressing global matters as they unfurl alongside domestic political debates and social issues.