Slate Fare

Slate’s 12 Most Shared Stories of 2015

The pieces that received the Internet version of a high five.

Illustration by Slate

One of the best things about the Internet is that it creates a giant echo chamber for the things that we love and enjoy the most. Sometimes, that thing you love is the perfect representation of a conversation with your toddler. Other times, it’s a tool to jab someone in the linguistic style of Antonin Scalia.

So we decided to pull together a list of what you, dear readers, chose to share with your Internet friends.

From the story of a brave woman who dared to yell “Yeast infections!” outside a Planned Parenthood clinic to a scientific explanation of the exact reason why chewing sounds make some people crazy, these are the 12 Slate pieces that you shared the most this year.

12. “Iceland Caps Syrian Refugees at 50; More Than 10,000 People Respond With Support for Syrian Refugees,” by Elliot Hannon (Aug. 31)
Right when you thought humanity had reached peak terribleness, a phenomenal news story came out of Iceland: Despite government restrictions, thousands of people urged the government to take in additional refugees and offered support for these individuals and their plight. The world’s collective heart grew a size that day.


Animation by Lisa Larson-Walker. Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images Entertainment

11. “How Would Scalia Insult You? Find Out With Slate’s Generator,” by Alison Griswold and Chris Kirk (June 26)
This year saw some of the most high-profile Supreme Court cases, which brought with them high-profile dissents. Justice Antonin Scalia’s “baroquely articulated vitriol” was the inspiration behind Slate’s interactive justice insult generator, and all of the insults were lifted directly from his writing.

10. “Brave Portland Woman Breaks Up Planned Parenthood Protest by Chanting ‘Yeast Infections!’ ” by Christina Cauterucci (Oct. 26)
When Planned Parenthood came under fire, women across the country took to the streets to protect the invaluable institution. One of these women was Mary Numair, a 29-year-old Portland, Oregon, resident who will forever be remembered for her quirky protest slogan.

Hostages are escorted by police outside a Planned Parenthood facility on Nov. 27, 2015, in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

9. “Forget Syria. The Most Dangerous Migrants Are From North Carolina,” by William Saletan (Nov. 30)
After several domestic terrorism events this fall, William Saletan set out to explain why the threat to the United States was more likely to come from at home than from abroad—and questioned why it is that as a society we’re quick to condemn Syrian refugees as ISIS members when certain groups in the South are operating with a similar level of extremity but with very little interference.

8. “Why Drivers in China Intentionally Kill the Pedestrians They Hit,” by Geoffrey Sant (Sep. 4)
Due to the way that the legal system is set up in China, it’s becoming commonplace that hit-and-run incidents escalate to hit-to-kill. This horrifying trend hadn’t really been talked about stateside until this article was published in September.

Illustration by Mark Alan Stamaty

7. “Irritated by the Sound of Chewing, Lip-Smacking, or Sniffing? Misophonia Means You Are Not Alone,” by Megan Cartwright (Aug. 19)
There are some questions that you simply can’t ask the Internet because you’ll just get a WebMD article that insists you have lupus. Luckily for sufferers of misophonia—“a strong distaste for chewing, mouthy sounds”—Slate declared to the world this summer that yes, this is in fact a thing.

6. “The Beautiful Closing Paragraph of Justice Kennedy’s Gay Marriage Ruling,” by Jordan Weissmann (June 26)
There are very few things that need to be said about this aside from the following: If you haven’t read it yet, read it now.

Illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo

Illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo

5. “Perhaps You Didn’t Hear Me, Dad. I Really Want It,” by Sean Williams (Oct. 7)
These four conversations—typed out and scripted—represent all the conversations that parents will have with their children in their toddler-hood. Trust us, you’ll find something you connect with in here—Slate readers certainly did!

4. “This Haunting Animation Maps the Journeys of 15,790 Slave Ships in Two Minutes,” by Andrew Kahn and Jamelle Bouie (June 25)
When the trans-Atlantic slave trade ended at the turn of the 19th century, a total of 12.5 million Africans had been removed from their homeland. This powerful interactive piece demonstrates the magnitude of the trans-Atlantic slave trade—a brutal reality that’s hard to imagine when described in words but absolutely eye-opening when seen in motion.

3. “The Misleading War on GMOs: The Food Is Safe. The Rhetoric Is Dangerous,” by William Saletan (July 15)
The debate over genetically modified organisms reached fever pitch in 2015, and William Saletan’s tour de force on the dangerous rhetoric of the anti-GMO movement is a must-read, regardless of where you stand on the issue.

2. “Key & Peele Imagines What It’d Be Like if We Obsessed Over Teachers the Way We Do Athletes,” by Aisha Harris (July 28)
Key & Peele sadly ended this past summer, but before it went off the air, it featured a bitingly perfect takedown of the feud between athletics and academia with its SportsCenter parody, TeachersCenter.

1. “Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire Were Dancing to ‘Uptown Funk’ All Along,” by Robby Berman (Nov. 16)
This was the year of “Uptown Funk,” so it’s rather fitting that our most shared story is a video mashup of the tune alongside the visual choreography of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, and Gene Kelly (among others). Once you’ve watched the video, you too will believe that they’ve been dancing to this song all along—and understand why a third of this story’s traffic came from Slate readers sharing it within their social networks.