Death of Lee Kuan Yew was most iconic Twitter moment in Singapore over past decade

Singaporeans, some holding the national flag, lined the streets during the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's state funeral procession on March 29, 2015.
Singaporeans, some holding the national flag, lined the streets during the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's state funeral procession on March 29, 2015. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The death of founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew was the most iconic Twitter moment in Singapore over the past decade.

The social media platform, which celebrated its 10th birthday on Monday (March 21), marked the occasion by highlighting the top moments in 10 of its markets across the Asia-Pacific.

In Japan, the earthquake that struck Tohoku - and the tsunami that followed - in March 2011 was the standout moment, with Twitter employed as a key communications tool to provide live reports, disseminate critical information and coordinate local relief efforts.

Iconic moments in India and South Korea were the gang rape of a 23-year-old woman in New Delhi and the Sewol ferry tragedy in April 2014 respectively.

Pro-social media candidate Joko Widodo's win in the 2014 Indonesian presidential election saw over 95 million elections-related tweets, while the #illridewithyou hashtag used in Australia was a powerful example of social media taking a stand against anti-Muslim sentiment following the Sydney hostage crisis in December 2014.

Twitter said Mr Lee's death on March 23 last year triggered a considerable reaction.

About 1.2 million tweets of support for Mr Lee's family, outpourings of grief and celebrations of his life's achievements were sent out.

In a blog post, Twitter put out a heartfelt thank you to its users over the past 10 years: "Thank you for making history, driving change, lifting each other up and laughing together every day."

It also revealed several interesting statistics - singer Katy Perry was the most followed Twitter personality with 84 million followers, pop star Justin Bieber was the most mentioned person (943 million) and talkshow host Ellen DeGeneres' epic Oscars selfie holds the record for the most retweeted tweet (3.3 million).

And in case you were wondering, transgender TV personality Caitlyn Jenner was the fastest to hit one million followers - taking just fours hours and three minutes to do so.