Social Media makes the News

Osamm Bin Laden, head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda was captured from his compound in Pakistan on may 2 2011 at 12.30pm . His capture had been in planning for months but took only a few minutes to complete, and was carried out by U.S Navy Seals.

Not only was Social Media responsible for releasing the story first, the story was covered live by an I.T consultant living close by. His live cover of events began via the site Twitter where he first tweeted ” Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM “. Shortly after this the story further developed.

Twitter continued to be the most popular and affective method of developing the story regarding Bin Laden’s death. The site further hosted tweets by Keith Urbahn, the defense secretary under President George W. Bush who tweeted ” So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn”  I believe this was the initial tweet that highlighted the death.

In affiliation to this minutes after the Urbahn’s post CBS tweeted: “House Intelligence committee aide confirms that Osama Bin Laden is dead. U.S. has the body.” This post was still, an hour prior to confirmation from president Obama.

Although I understand the power of social media and it’s ability to circulate news swiftly, I believe story would have been identical. Obviously the event would not have been covered live, but as the tweeter was oblivious to the intentions of the raid the story lost the majority of it’s importance.


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