PM Narendra Modi cements spot as nation’s top newsmaker: Yahoo’s Year in Review 2018

Yahoo announced the 2018 Year in Review (YIR) for India. YIR chronicles the top choices of Internet users in India, spotlighting the newsmakers, stories and topics that went viral and were trending online during the year. It is based on users’ search habits and a selection of what they read, recommended and shared most on Yahoo.

Over the last decade, YIR has documented the growing empowerment of the country’s online audience, seen in the expression and sharing of new ideas online. This year, the collective power of India’s Internet users fuelled the watershed #MeTooIndia movement. India’s #MeToo Survivors, who started a conversation with wide-reaching impact, are YIR’s 2018 Personality of the year. Several women took to social media to share accounts of sexual harassment by men in positions of power. The movement crossed over to the mainstream, garnering huge support and mobilizing every section of the media.

This year’s list of top 10 newsmakers featured a few surprise entrants, alongside regulars like Prime Minister Narendra Modi — who once again came in at No. 1. Former Chief Justice of India, Dipak Misra, wrote his way into the list with landmark verdicts on Triple Talaq and Article 377, among others. M.J. Akbar, who resigned as Minister of State for External Affairs after allegations of sexual harassment, also features on this list. The excitement surrounding Bollywood’s biggest wedding ensured actors Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh were ‘couple’ newsmakers. At under two years, Taimur Ali Khan was youngest entrant to this list — the son of Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan boasts a formidable following online! Also joining this list was actress Priya Prakash Varrier, whose wink in the Malayalam film Oru Adaar Love almost broke the Internet.

The Karnataka elections — one of the most important events on this year’s political calendar — was the Most Searched for Term in 2018. A HuffPost India investigation into the hacking of the Aadhaar software came in at No. 2 on this list, sparking a nation-wide debate and trending online. Scam-riddled Vijay Mallya and Nirav Modi also bagged spots on the list of Most Searched for Terms in 2018.

Urjit Patel came in at the top of 2018’s Finance Newsmakers, holding his own against the government. India’s richest man and Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani — whose wealth reportedly increased by Rs 300 crore per day in 2018 — came in a cool second on this list. Brother Anil Ambani, Reliance Group Chairman, also features on the list for the Rafale Deal Controversy.

Users bid farewell to Bollywood actress Sridevi with an outpouring of grief and love online, making her one of the Most Searched for Female Celebrities in 2018. They also rooted for Sonali Bendre, who shared her fight against cancer online with #switchonthesunshine, putting her on the list. Sunny Leone stayed strong as the Most Searched Female Celebrity yet again, with Priya Prakash Varrier coming in close to the top.

Salman Khan proved he was the ‘biggest boss,’ as the Most Searched Male Celebrity of 2018. Close on his heels was American singer and now ‘National Jiju’ Nick Jonas. He zoomed up the list with his engagement to actress Priyanka Chopra.

While staying loyal to Ranveer-Deepika, users also brought in newbies like actor Janhvi Kapoor, and Sara Ali Khan, besides Sprinter Hima Das into India’s Top 10 heartthrobs of 2018.

Upstaging the new generation of fashionistas, Malaika Arora showed them how it was done as Most Stylish Female Celebrity 2018. Actor Ayushmann Khurrana extended his quirky choices from his movies to his wardrobe. Users couldn’t get enough of his bold, fashion forward looks on Instagram, making him the Most Stylish Male Celebrity of 2018.

There was plenty of fake news swirling online in 2018. Did Modi really touch Owaisi’s feet? (photoshopped!), Modi hires personal make-up artist for Rs 15 lakh a month (an old photo from when Madame Tussaud’s took PM Modi’s measurements) and Rahul Gandhi holds woman’s hand on stage (taken before a large group lifted hands in solidarity at a Jan andolan rally.) These rounded off the top 3 of the 10 Fake News Stories of the Year that went viral.

For everything else that was real and sparked online India’s interest in 2018, see Year in Review: 2018

Top Newsmakers of 2018

  • Narendra Modi
  • Rahul Gandhi
  • Dipak Misra
  • Vijay Mallya
  • Nirav Modi
  • MJ Akbar
  • MS Dhoni
  • Deepika Padukone-Ranveer Singh
  • Priya Prakash Varrier
  • Taimur Ali Khan
Top 10 Most Searched for Terms in 2018

  • Karnataka Elections
  • 2018 Budget
  • Aadhaar hacked
  • Kerala Floods
  • Bharat Bandh
  • Nipah Virus
  • Vijay Mallya
  • Nirav Modi
  • Mumbai rains
  • Anil Ambani
Top Finance Newsmakers of 2018

  • Urjit Patel
  • Mukesh Ambani
  • Indra Nooyi
  • Abhijit Bose
  • Anil Ambani
  • Vijay Mallya
  • Nirav Modi
  • Mehul Choksi
  • Chanda Kocchar
  • Usha Ananthasubramanian
Most Searched for Celebrity – Female

  • Sunny Leone
  • Sridevi
  • Priya Prakash Varrier
  • Priyanka Chopra
  • Sapna Choudhary
  • Sonali Bendre
  • Katrina Kaif
  • Deepika Padukone
  • Radhika Apte
  • Sonam Kapoor
Most Searched for Celebrity – Male

  • Salman Khan
  • Nick Jonas
  • Kamal Haasan
  • Irrfan Khan
  • Amitabh Bachchan
  • Kapil Sharma
  • Guru Randhawa
  • Justin Bieber
  • Akshay Kumar
  • Alok Nath
Top Future Stars of Cricket

  • Shimron Hetmyer, 21 (West Indies)
  • Mohammad Abbas, 28 (Pakistan)
  • Sam Curran, 20 (England)
  • Prithvi Shaw, 19 (India)
  • Rishabh Pant, 23 (India)
  • Imam-ul-Haq, 22 (Pakistan)
  • Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 17 (Afghanistan)
  • Lungi Ngidi, 22 (South Africa)
Top 10 India’s heartthrobs of 2018

  • Ranveer-Deepika
  • Janhvi Kapoor
  • Virat Kohli
  • Priyanka-Nick
  • Taimur Ali Khan
  • Priya Prakash Varrier
  • ‘Govinda’ uncle
  • Sara Ali Khan
  • Hima Das
  • Divya Spandana (Ramya)
Top 10 #FakeNews of 2018

  • Did Modi really touch Owaisi’s feet?
  • Modi hires personal make-up artist for Rs 15 lakh/month
  • Rahul Gandhi holds woman’s hand on stage
  • Is Congress social media spreading fake Rafale news?
  • Did Modi lie about rural housing scheme numbers?
  • Is this horrific photo from Godhra, 2002?
  • Divya Spandana and her lies about PM Modi
  • Modi insults old, differently-abled man
  • Congress promotes anti-Modi advertisement in Pakistan
  • Did this Muslim leader really disrobe a woman?


About the Yahoo India 2018 Year in Review Methodology

To develop the Yahoo Year in Review, our team analyse user’s interest patterns based on what they searched for, read, recommended and shared. It takes into account a number of factors including absolute volume and growth from previous periods to see which themes and trends bubble to the surface. Individuals and their preferences remain anonymous.

Disclaimer: * Please note the results are not necessarily a representation of a popularity contest or voting.

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