The RiotACT stories that had the most people talking on Facebook in 2017 reflected both the highs and lows of the year that was. Many of the biggest Facebook moments were in the aftermath of serious events including a devastating fire at Pialligo Estate, the mauling to death of a cat by a pack of dogs, and the race-hate bashing of two students in Woden. But it was the innovations, the achievements and the celebrations that filled out the rest of the top ten, with our live coverage from celebrations in Lonsdale Street after the announcement of the results of the same-sex marriage survey claiming the top spot.
In October, the news that multiple fire crews were working desperately to extinguish a fire at Pialligo Estate’s Farmhouse Restaurant had RiotACT readers expressing their shock at the second fire to hit the business in two years.
November saw the installation of Canberra’s first rainbow roundabout, which pays tribute to the results of the ACT’s thumping yes vote in the same-sex marriage survey. The roundabout will be a permanent fixture at the intersection of Elouera and Lonsdale Streets in Braddon, but not all Facebook readers agreed that it was a good idea.
A beloved and affectionate black rescue cat named Jasper was mauled to death in October by a pack of dogs in Rivett, leaving his owners heartbroken and many Facebook readers distressed and concerned. The savage incident gave extra impetus to calls for the ACT Government to take action on dangerous dogs (which occurred in December when tougher new dog laws were tabled).
Proving that Canberrans love their food and wine, this post from November reminding readers to get ready for an epic 10 days of festivities was widely shared on social media. The reason? 20 of Australia’s most mouthwatering food trucks, dedicated craft beer and wine bars, the Pimms Garden, plus a host of events, entertainment, and installations were on their way to Commonwealth Park for The Commons Street Feast.
Canberrans have long known that the capital is an awesome place, and in October everyone else did too, when our city was awarded the third spot in the world’s top places by Lonely Planet. Although there were a few dissenters on Facebook, most people who commented agreed that our exciting boutique precincts, gastronomic delights and cultural must-dos made Canberra a deserving winner.
It was another achievement on the international stage for Canberra in October when in what is believed to be a world first, Guzman y Gomez announced it is delivering burritos by drone to residents of Royalla. RiotACT Facebookers were enthusiastic about the idea and keen to get on board.
The news that smoking was banned at Canberra’s bus stops, taxi ranks and bus and train stations from October – as well as the future light rail stops, was greeted with enthusiasm by most Facebook commenters and with criticism by a minority.
Also in October, our post about the awesome news that Dobinsons Bakery – one of the best places in the CBD to grab a sensational pie or cake – will be expanding to Belconnen was greeted with enthusiasm. Fans of Dobinsons were quick to click to find out what owner Sue Dobinson’s plans were for the new venue.
In October, our Facebook post about gang attacks on Chinese students in race-hate bashings saw readers labelling the incidents as appalling, disgusting and disgraceful, with the article not only taking second place in the top ten Facebook posts but also in several other The RiotACT top ten lists.
Colourful Canberra business personality Jason Roses captured the excitement and colour of Braddon’s Lonsdale Street, where celebrations were in full swing in November after the announcement of the results of the same-sex marriage survey. With over 23,000 views, the clip was miles ahead of any other Facebook post of 2017.