Most social stories of 2012

From inspiring tales of love to the tragedy of the Aurora, Colo., theater shooting and intrigue surrounding the presidential election, 2012 offered stories that quickly became the talk of social networks. Here's a look back at the most-shared stories of the year on NBCNews.com and TODAY.com.

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  1. 1. All politics is social

  2. The @NBCNews #DemocracyPlaza rink map is one state away from completion. #NBCPolitics
  3. The 2012 presidential election had President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Gov. Mitt Romney vying for hearts, minds and votes -- and Twitter and Facebook followers. Both campaigns staged long and spirited social media campaigns aimed at getting supporters to the polls and generating buzz.
  4. Here at NBC News, election coverage struck a chord with readers and viewers on social networks. Our eight embedded campaign correspondents sent more than 35,000 tweets and posted more than 3,000 Instagrams to 225,000 fans. NBC Politics' one-stop home for Election Night results was the year's most most popular page among Twitter users.
  5. Speaking of popular, this tweet from President Obama sent just after he secured a second term has been retweeted more than 816,000 times, making it the year's top tweet
  6. Ghost in the machine
    One of our most-shared election stories of the year was this MSNBC report on claims that an electronic voting machine in Pennsylvania was turning votes for President Obama into votes for Mitt Romney. 
  7. Click below for a look back at how Election Day played out on the social web.
  8. 2. #RIP

  9. The passing of legends led many to share grief and tributes on social media sites. Here's a look at some of the celebrity deaths of 2012 that resulted in a cascade of online tributes.
  10. Neil Armstrong (Aug. 5, 1930 – Aug. 25, 2012) 
  11. Legendary astronaut Neil Armstrong captivated a generation when he became the first person to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969. His death in August at age 82 was felt the world over, with tributes pouring in from fellow astronauts, politicians and those who simply dared to dream big because of Armstrong's courageous feat. We captured some of those reactions below:
  12. Michelle and I were deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Neil Armstrong. Neil was among the greatest of American heroes–not just of his time, but of all time.
  13. This wish from the Armstrong family was retweeted more than 28,000 times, making it @NBCNews' biggest tweet of the year.
  14. Whitney Houston (Aug. 9, 1963 – Feb. 11, 2012) 
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