The past year just took and took and took. From David Bowie in January to George Michael and Carrie Fisher in December, 2016 saw the deaths of numerous famous people.
To see which of those celebrity deaths were considered the "saddest" on Twitter, I turned to the Hedonometer. This website was created by University of Vermont researchers Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth to measure happiness using data from Twitter users. An algorithm pulls from a random subsample of tweets in English. Then each of the top tweeted words gets scored on a nine-point scale from sad at 1 to happy at 9 each day of the year. Those results, dating back to late 2008, are presented in an interactive graphic. The data does take time to get posted so Twitter emotions coinciding with the deaths of George Michael and Carrie Fisher won't be available for a while.
"It's a strange subsample of humanity," Danforth told me.
Caveats abound, naturally. The site measures a population that only reflects about one fifth of all adult Americans. Danforth and his colleagues have found that their results do tend to correlate with traditional measures of the different age groups and demographics, however. Also, some deaths that made headlines overlapped with other major events or big national holidays, so they don't really show up on the Hedonometer.
With all of that in mind - and my fingers crossed that 2016 would just stop already with the losses - here are the saddest celebrity deaths through December 19, according to Hedonometer data.