For many the news of the death of Osama Bin Laden came through social media and text messages through their mobile devices. People then turned on their televisions, or logged on to a news media site for more detailed information. This latest event solidified that American have changed how they get their news, and twitter is key.
CNN reported “Bin Laden’s death sets Twitter record” stating that “During President Barack Obama’s address, Twitter users posted messages at an average rate of 3,440 tweets per second.” According to Twitter, at the peak of the online conversation users posted 5,106 tweets per second.
Wall Street Journal highlighted some of the internet conversation – “Reaction To Bin Laden Death Rolls Across the Web.” The messages posted via Twitter, Facebook and various social media outlets were celebratory in nature as Internet users welcomed the news of the death of the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks and al Qaeda.
Social media allows ordinary individuals to become citizen journalists, reporting on events as they happen, many times ahead of the traditional news outlets. As one of the first groups of people at Ground Zero I started sharing the events via social media.
“Using the location-based social network Foursquare, people checked in at Ground Zero in Manhattan and posted photos of the celebration taking place early Monday morning. “At #groundzero large crowd singing “God bless America” and chatting USA. Candles being lit,” wrote one Foursquare user, Republican consultant Bettina Inclan.
At the New York site, where the World Trade Center stood before the attacks, two people standing above the crowd held a large American flag as onlookers snapped photos and uploaded them to Twitter.”