The 7 Biggest Social Media Moments of 2016
On Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, this year saw an unprecedented amount of drama, deleting and dissing, thanks to trigger-happy celebrities.
2016 was a very dramatic year to be a celebrity on the Internet.
On Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, this year saw an unprecedented amount of drama, deleting and dissing, thanks to trigger-happy celebrities. We’re taking a look at the seven biggest moments that had us clutching our metaphorical pearls and staring at our phones late into the night.
1. The Justin Bieber-Selena Gomez Instagram back-and-forth that led to Bieber deleting his Instagram account.
Our fragile hearts could barely take it.
Days after the “Sorry” singer’s threats to make his Instagram private spurred a very public feud with Selena Gomez and Hailey Baldwin in August, Bieber took it to the next level and actually deactivated his Instagram account. (It is still deactivated! We miss it every day.)
Quick refresher on the feud: Bieber first threatened to leave Instagram after his rumored relationship with Sofia Richie was met with criticism from fans.
“I’m gonna make my Instagram private if you guys don’t stop the hate,” Bieber captioned a black and white photo with the 17-year-old model over the weekend. “This is getting out of hand, if you guys are really fans you wouldn’t be so mean to people that I like.”
Gomez quickly weighed in on the post with her own bit of advice.
“If you can’t handle the hate, then stop posting pictures of your girlfriend lol – It should be special between you two only,” Gomez commented on his post. “Don’t be mad at your fans. They love you and supported you before any one ever did.”
Bieber followed through and deleted his account – and he still hasn’t returned.
2. The Great Kim Kardashian West-Taylor Swift Snapchat Debacle.
In July, Kardashian West took to Snapchat to provide the proof that her husband had consulted with Taylor Swift on those controversial “Famous” lyrics. (“For all my Southside n—-s that know me best / I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why, I made that bitch famous / Goddamn / I made that bitch famous.”)
The reality star shared a series of videos of that phone call between her husband and Swift, discussing the “Famous” lyrics – as well as their history. Swift had previously denied that she’d given approval for the controversial verse.
“It’s like a compliment,” Swift is heard saying in the video after West reads the lyrics to her (which include, “For all my Southside n—– that know me best / I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex”).
“What I give a f— is you as a person, and as a friend, I want things that make you feel good,” Kanye said, and thanked Swift “for being like, so cool about it” after she told him she appreciated the “heads up” on the lyrics.
“I never would’ve expected you to like tell me about a line in your song,” Taylor said. “I mean, I don’t think anybody would listen to that and be like, ‘Oh, that’s a real diss.’ You gotta tell the story that way that it happened to you and the way you experienced it.”
The day after Kardashian West posted the snap footage, Swift took to Instagram to tell her side of the story:
Drama, drama, drama.
3. The messy Kanye West + Amber Rose + Wiz Khalifa Twitter exchange.
In January, West and Khalifa were embroiled in a Twitter feud of epic proportions. It all started when West announced that he was changing the name of his upcoming album from Swish to Waves. Soon, Khalifa started criticizing the album title. “Please don’t take the wave,” he tweeted, following it up with a series of tweets alluding to the album.
But West remained silent until he thought Khalifa had tweeted about his wife Kardashian West. “Hit this kk and become yourself,” wrote Khalifa the next morning.
Several hours later, West responded: “Like, oh that’s Ye and I can put his wife’s initials on my twitter @Wizkhalifa.”
That’s when Khalifa corrected West and called him a “fool”: “KK is weed fool. Reason’s why [you’re] not wavy. Go [back] to Swish.”
The feud eventually reached a fever pitch, with West seemingly referencing their mutual ex Amber Rose. “You let a stripper trap you,” West tweeted, followed by a slew of criticisms – and, strangely enough, fashion compliments – aimed at Khalifa. At one point, West mentioned Khalifa and his ex Amber Rose’s son 3-year-old Sebastian, writing, “You wouldn’t have a child if it wasn’t for me,” and “You own waves???? I own your child!!!!” Then Rose had no choice but to join in, chiming in with a sexually explicit diss.
West later apologized for bringing Rose and Khalifa’s son, Sebastian, into the feud.
“I really want to stress the amount of respect that I have for parents,” West later told Steve Harvey. “There is no concept of anyone beating up on someone else’s child or that type of concept. So every day I feel more deeply, deeply, deeply apologetic about that concept, because I only want to put out positive, positive, positive concepts.”
4. Kim Kardashian West’s epic, Internet-smashing nude selfie.
In the days following Kardashian West’s censored nude selfie post, it seemed like every celebrity had something to say about it.
“Kim Kardashian tweeted a nude selfie today. If Kim wants us to see a part of her we’ve never seen, she’s gonna have to swallow the camera,” Bette Midler tweeted hours after the selfie was posted, referencing Kardashian’s infamous sex tape.
Good thing the reality star was ready with the clap back: “hey @BetteMidler I know it’s past your bedtime but if you’re still up and reading this send nudes #justkidding,” she wrote in one post, later adding, “hey @BetteMidler I really didn’t want to bring up how you sent me a gift awhile back trying to be a fake friend then come at me #dejavu.”
Other stars were more supportive. Ariel Winter sensed sexism at work. “No one was body shaming @justinbieber when he posted his nude guitar photo so why @KimKardashian? #herbodyherchoice,” the Modern Family star tweeted. “I think everyone, men and women, should have the right to choose what they do with their bodies – and not be criticized,” she added.
Model Emily Ratajkowski also chimed in:
Then this epic collaboration happened, and we were never the same again:
5. The social fall-out from Calvin Harris and Taylor Swift’s break-up.
The summer of splits kicked off with a bang when Harris and Swift called it quits in May. Before we were even done drying our tears, Swift was spotted getting cozy with someone else – actor Tom Hiddleston. It was a relationship no one saw coming, neither the fans nor Harris.
Then, everything changed. First, the exes both wiped their social media accounts clear of one another. Harris partied on a yacht. Swift met Hiddleston’s parents. Hiddleston scored an invite to Swift’s 4th of July party. Harris dropped breakup track “Olé” with John Newman, which people thought might be about Swift.
When PEOPLE confirmed that Swift actually wrote Harris and Rihanna’s hit, “This Is What You Came for,” under the pseudonym Nils Sjoberg, things got a bit crazy.
Harris responded to PEOPLE’s report about the song in a series of now-deleted tweets. He explained, “I wrote the music, produced the song, arranged it and cut the vocals though. And initially she wanted it kept secret, hence the pseudonym … Hurtful to me at this point that her and her team would go so far out of their way to try and make ME look bad at this stage though.”
Then, he brought up Hiddleston: “I figure if you’re happy in your new relationship you should focus on that instead of trying to tear your ex bf down for something to do.”
He even referenced her alleged long-running feud with Katy Perry (which neither woman has publicly commented on): “I know you’re off tour and you need someone new to try and bury like Katy ETC but I’m not that guy, sorry. I won’t allow it.”
Basically, we are still recovering.
6. Drama aside, can we take a second to discuss Taylor Swift’s 4th of July bash? Because that was a moment if there ever was one.
For the holiday, the singer through an epic backyard bash at her Rhode Island beachside mansion.
Partygoers, which included Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Karlie Kloss, Cara Delevingne, then boyfriend Tom Hiddleston and more stars, took turns sliding down a giant, red, white and blue slide with the words “Taymerica” on the side, and also played a game of football on the lawn.
Here’s hoping that 2017’s biggest social media moments are exclusively related to water slide shenanigans.
7. When Spencer Pratt did the mannequin challenge alone at Taco Bell
In November, the former Hills star posted a montage video of himself frozen inside of a Taco Bell, eating various menu items including (but not limited to) a Doritos Locos Taco, Crunchwrap Supreme, and Mexican Pizza. Except for one cashier in the first clip, Pratt’s video stands out from other Mannequin Challenges in that he is alone the whole time.
“Iconic” is the only way we feel comfortable describing this.