Some 900 people were killed in May when a garment factory building collapsed in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka. It was the worst garment factory accident ever reported. The government has blamed the collapse of the Rana Plaza building on faulty, illegal construction.
The fatal gang rape of a student in New Delhi in 2012 triggered outrage and protests across India. The brutality of the December attack became the tipping point that brought the issue of violence against women into focus, not only in India, but around the world. It also prompted stricter laws on sexual violence.
Malala Yousafzai is Pakistan's teenage champion of girls' education. After being attacked by extremists the media has closely followed the recovery of the 16-year-old girl. She has now turned into an icon - a symbol of the fight against Taliban oppression. She received a number of international awards during 2013.
Two years after elections, Tunisia was faced by another crisis in October. The government and the opposition had begun a national dialogue while ordinary Tunisians were taking to the streets in protest. This second revolution had taken many observers by surprise.
A long-sought deal with between Iran and key UN powers took much of the world by surprise in 2013. The breakthrough led to relief among its supporters and condemnation by its critics. While many were happy that the five UN veto powers and Germany reached a deal with Tehran, others worried the agreement does not go far enough.
Since President Mohammed Morsi was ousted in July, his supporters and his opponents have become irreconcilable. Mass demonstrations are taking place all over the country, with hundreds killed and frequent outbreaks of violence.
Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 5,000 people when it struck the Philippines. That total makes the November 8 storm the most deadly natural disaster ever to hit the country. Called Yolanda locally, Haiyan brought winds of over 300 kilometers per hour (180 m.p.h.). The majority of victims either drowned or died under collapsed structures and trees.
Many said this topic moved them because they had the impression that the world had been on the verge of another World War. The fact that many civilians have been brutally killed in the recent years, some even through chemical weapons, touched many.
Ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden disclosed the US surveillance program PRISM, which collects and analyzes information from Internet and phone users around the world, people have been shocked at the extent to which the American government has been spying on them for years.
The death of Nelson Mandela, South Africa's anti-apartheid icon, at the age of 95 was the story that moved users the most. Mandela died on December 5, at his home in South Africa. Many said his passing touched them the most because he was a worldwide symbol of human rights and fighter against oppression.
We asked our social media fans and followers what they thought the biggest news story of the year was and why. Here are their top 10 responses.