Presidential race was most-discussed topic on Facebook this year

Presidential race was most-discussed topic on Facebook this year
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The 2016 presidential election was the most-discussed topic on Facebook in the United States this year, joined by a number of other closely-watched political issues.

The election led the pack, according to end-of-year statistics distributed by the company, but other top topics included flying the Confederate flag, the marriage rights of same-sex couples and Planned Parenthood.

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The election's standing may reflect the fact that the race began much earlier this year, when the first candidates announced their intentions to run in the primaries.

Two of the top topics have connections to mass shootings that took place in 2015. A Planned Parenthood clinic was the site of a shooting Colorado Springs, Colo. last month, while the Confederate flag debate followed a shooting at a black church in Charleston, S.C.

Planned Parenthood was also the subject of sting videos released by anti-abortion activists that led to calls from Congress to defund the group.

The battle with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), as well as the November terrorist attacks in Paris, also appeared on the list of most-debated topics.

U.S. political figures also attracted attention from around the world, according to the data. President Obama was the most discussed politician globally and former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonPoll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona The Hill's Morning Report - Trump touts new immigration policy, backtracks on tax cuts Hickenlooper announces Senate bid MORE (D) was the fourth most-discussed.

Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSarah Huckabee Sanders becomes Fox News contributor The US-Iranian scuffle over a ship is a sideshow to events in the Gulf South Korea: US, North Korea to resume nuclear talks 'soon' MORE, the businessman who is the current frontrunner to be the Republican presidential nominee, was second on the list. Clinton rival Sen. Bernie SandersBernie Sanders2020 candidates have the chance to embrace smarter education policies Bernie Sanders Adviser talks criminal justice reform proposal, 'Medicare for All' plan Poll shows Biden, Warren tied with Trump in Arizona MORE (I-Vt.) was fifth.