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Bin Laden's Death Causes Twitter Record 167

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the almost-nothing-of-value dept.
gabbo529 writes "Twitter has been a source of breaking news since its inception five years ago, and the social network was used at a high rate last night with the death of Osama Bin Laden. [Sunday night] saw the highest sustained rate of Tweets ever. From 10:45 p.m. to 2:20 a.m. ET, there was an average of 3,000 Tweets per second."
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Bin Laden's Death Causes Twitter Record

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @08:53AM (#36009424)

    A joke only UK readers will get:

    Who says you can't take a Bin out on a bank holiday.

    Brum tish!

  • I was going to go for a joke about how dastardly Bin Laden must have been, to provoke a massive DoS attack against western communications infrastructure just by getting shot.

    Then I realized that we were talking about Twitter.
  • So the question I have now is, was Michael Jackson less significant or did the Jackson craze lead to more people knowing about Twitter and thus more people available to tweet about Bid Laden? The world may never know.

  • Well, Bin Laden had taken over Hitler's spot of "Evilest Guy Alive" for quite a few years. It's no wonder his death is much discussed.

    As someone whose persona was so large, and whose death was always going to be controversial, I guess that means he joins Hitler, Elvis, and Michael Jackson on the island of dead people who are regularly sighted.

    • Bin Laden wasn't evilest guy alive; I'd say maybe Kim Jong Il holds that position. There're plenty of dictators with more blood on their hands than bin Laden. Bin Laden might not even break the top 10 in terms of death toll.

      • by nedlohs (1335013)

        top 10?

        He is way lower than that. Basically every leader of a nation that has gone to war has a higher death toll, from ancient times on. Heck many single indiviuals beat out bin Laden and all his followers combined, Kermit Beahan and Thomas Ferebee both win that contest by at least an order of magnitude but I wouldn't call them evil.

        it's a stupid metric.

        Someone who murders 2 people is more evil than someone who rapes and tortures (but doesn't kill) 10,000?

      • by qbast (1265706)
        Top 10? I doubt he breaks top 10000.
    • Although I am glad that this very evil person is no longer with us, I am not going to "celebrate", as my mind and heart is still with the victims and their families. For them, nothing is going to bring back their loss. The death of a man who either directly caused their death, or helped spawn the ideology that caused others to kill, represents a shallow victory.

      This man caused the deaths of many, and instigated a sense of fear that today still affects millions accross the world in security, and other issues

      • by mangu (126918)

        I will be tweeting and celebrating only when the tide of intolerance, and evil fanaticism is eradicated totally, and myself and my family can look forward to living free in a world where we do not have to fear that a person is plotting to kill me, just because my views of life and liberty is different to theirs.

        That's not why they want to kill you, they want to kill you because you do not believe in the same religion they do.

        To be more precise, they want to kill everyone who does not believe as fervently as they do in the same interpretation of their religion.

        • I will be tweeting and celebrating only when the tide of intolerance, and evil fanaticism is eradicated totally, and myself and my family can look forward to living free in a world where we do not have to fear that a person is plotting to kill me, just because my views of life and liberty is different to theirs.

          That's not why they want to kill you, they want to kill you because you do not believe in the same religion they do.

          To be more precise, they want to kill everyone who does not believe as fervently as they do in the same interpretation of their religion.

          Yeah, that's why the struck the WTC and Pentagon instead of the Vatican and other bastions of religion.

      • by tedgyz (515156) *

        I will be tweeting and celebrating only when the tide of intolerance, and evil fanaticism is eradicated totally, and myself and my family can look forward to living free in a world where we do not have to fear that a person is plotting to kill me, just because my views of life and liberty is different to theirs.

        Good luck with that.

      • by silanea (1241518) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @10:11AM (#36010330)

        This man caused the deaths of many, and instigated a sense of fear that today still affects millions accross the world in security, and other issues.

        I cannot honestly say how much Bin Laden himself actually contributed to any loss of lives, but I can definitely say that any sense of fear along with that tide of intolerance was and is instigated not by some lone raving looney and his YouTube channel but by politicians on all sides of the fence. Osama Bin Laden has never posed any tangible threat to me. That puts him in stark contrast to the supranational police state that has been brought on us since 9/11.

    • by mikael_j (106439)

      I always hoped that Bin Laden would end up choking to death on a handful of chili nuts just outside a Walmart (where he just purchased the aforementioned nuts), dressed in a pair of surf shorts and a mickey mouse t-shirt of course. That would've stirred up some very interesting controversy, bonus points if he had been using his real ID the whole time...

      • by MiniMike (234881)

        I had also hoped he would choke on his own nuts, but not in quite the same way you envisioned.

    • by pspahn (1175617)

      Does that mean it's okay to dress as Bin Laden for Halloween this year?

      • Does that mean it's okay to dress as Bin Laden for Halloween this year?

        Depends on how many gun-toting idiots don't think he's really dead.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      Bin Laden is only responsible for the deaths of around 3000 Americans. George W Bush is responsible for the deaths of over 3000 [antiwar.com] Americans, and over 100,000 civilians.

      • by Vaphell (1489021)

        add the US constitution to that list

      • by chebucto (992517)

        I don't like to confuse Bush's idiotic wars with Bin Laden's criminality.

        Bush was a fool who wasted blood and treasure, as they like to say.

        September 11th was a massive crime and it is a huge relief to see justice done. I'd have preferred an arrest & trial but what's happened will have to do.

      • 60% of U.S. Military Deaths in Afghanistan Have Occurred Since Obama Was Inaugurated in 2009.

        Funny thing about reporting, it says as much as what is reported, as what is excluded by reports. AntiWar is just Anti (R) war, not the current (D) wars, including the new one in Libya.

        http://icasualties.org/OEF/index.aspx [icasualties.org]

        At the current rate of increasing deaths in Afghanistan, Obama will surpass GWB by the time the 2012 elections come and he is either re-elected or we have President Trump (or worse, Palin). Stop re

    • Well, Bin Laden had taken over Hitler's spot of "Evilest Guy Alive" for quite a few years.

      Because bin Laden killed thousands of Americans, whereas Hitler only killed a few million Jews?

      (Ignoring that Hitler lost the Evilest Guy Alive position eight years before Osama bin Laden was born.)

  • if you think the source is reliable and expert enough to really give you news. Given that there was an article on the front page about how people find the news they want, I don't know if Twitter gets around that same problem.

    • Re:That's great (Score:5, Insightful)

      by clang_jangle (975789) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @09:04AM (#36009536) Journal
      I found the opening statement of TFS ("Twitter has been a source of breaking news...") kind of shocking. Does no-one read well enough to recognize a fluff piece from marketing when they see one, or do we just not care anymore?
      • by Nerdfest (867930)
        There was a swell of info on Twitter at least 20 minutes before it appeared anywhere else in any volume. It may not be correct, accurate, or complete, but you get news on Twitter very fast.
        • by memnock (466995)

          I think if it's not meeting the criteria you just mentioned, it makes Twitter useless as a news source. That combined with point made by clang_jangle [slashdot.org] point to the fact that this article is polish for a turd.

          • by Nerdfest (867930)
            Those same failings (not correct, accurate, or complete) exist in all other news sources, just to different degrees. I think Twitter has some value as a news source; you just need to be aware of its shortcomings.
          • I think if it's not meeting the criteria you just mentioned, it makes Twitter useless as a news source.

            Not in the slightest. I first read about OBL's death on Twitter. I didn't take that as authoritative information, but it brought the news to my attention so I could learn more about it elsewhere.

            Twitter is useless as a news source in exactly the same way Wikipedia is useless as an information source. You don't want to cite either one in a formal article, but both can give you good pointers to primary sources you can pursue further.

            • by memnock (466995)

              I could tweet that Obama had a major heart attack and Biden is now running things, even though it didn't happen. Are people going to spend time verifying that? If so, how is having to decide if Twitter is delivering legitimate news or not a useful service? If you're getting tweets from Washington Post or a creditable news source, then Twitter isn't doing anything that a smart phone or the tv doesn't already do.

              • I could tweet that Obama had a major heart attack and Biden is now running things, even though it didn't happen. Are people going to spend time verifying that?

                You usually don't have to because someone else will follow up to real stories with linked articles from more mainstream sources. I went from seeing "Osama is dead!" to "Here's a link to CNN: ..." in about 2 minutes.

                If you're getting tweets from Washington Post or a creditable news source, then Twitter isn't doing anything that a smart phone or the tv doesn't already do.

                I don't want to check a bunch of news sites or watch TV constantly, for much the same reason that I'd rather chat around the office water cooler than do either of those things. There are other considerations, like the fact that I heard from several friends (none of whom knew each other) about a m

  • by Drakkenmensch (1255800) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @09:01AM (#36009514)
    It took the death of the most hated man alive to finally put an end to the supremacy of Justin Beiber tweets.
    • It took the death of the most hated man alive to finally put an end to the supremacy of Justin Beiber tweets.

      Beiber would still be top. The tense would just change from present to past.

    • by mangu (126918) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @09:33AM (#36009866)

      It took the death of the most hated man alive

      What? Justin Bieber died?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        He said "most hated MAN".

      • by jo42 (227475)

        What? Justin Bieber died?

        "The only good Bieber is a dead Bieber.

          - MJ"

    • Re:Inconceivable! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Kamiza Ikioi (893310) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @09:42AM (#36009972) Homepage

      Yeah, but some dumbasses started throwing eggs at Bieber, and Bin Laden was instantly old news.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Yeah...but it means Justin Beiber takes over as the most hated man alive. Do you really want that...?

      (nb. I use the word 'man' in the anthropological sense of the word)

      • by delinear (991444)

        Yeah...but it means Justin Beiber takes over as the most hated man alive. Do you really want that...?

        I dunno, does it mean the US will now spend trillions of dollars ensuring his demise? I'm kind of... yeah, I think I'm good with that. Not thrilled about the timescales if it means we have to put up with him for another decade, mind.

        • On one hand, it's worth spending the money to be rid of Bieber. On the other hand, for every Bieber we take down, ten Veronica Blacks will rise!!!
    • But Justin Beiber's not dead...

  • There were an amazing amount of comments here in the first thread about Bin Laden's death [slashdot.org]... ~2000? What's the record at /.?

  • by Freaky Spook (811861) on Tuesday May 03, 2011 @09:23AM (#36009732)

    Osama Bin Laden may be dead, but without Ewoks & a John Williams music score to celebrate this mighty victory with, it feels kind of empty.

    • Osama Bin Laden may be dead, but without Ewoks & a John Williams music score to celebrate this mighty victory with, it feels kind of empty.

      Darth Vader died with redemption. OBL just got nailed. Nor orchestra or dancing naked Ewoks are called for.

  • Because the guy who files the TPS reports didn't use the new cover sheet.
  • OBL's death generates 27 tangential Slashdot stories.

  • The article says 5000 per second by the time Obama finished his speech

  • And the death of bin Laden is no exception. Those 3000 tweets/second are not carrying "breaking news" of any kind; they are people making jokes, political talking-points or simply repeating rumours and hearsay. Even the article states that most of the tweets came after the news appeared on TV.

    Fact is, the overwhelming majority of people on twitter have no first-hand experience of the event, and those that do have first-hand experience are not about to leak any details of it. All the good information is coll

  • Millions of wanna-be reality stars tweeting every banality. Hell, even the so-called live-tweeting was just a resident complaining about chopper noise.

  • I saw this retracted on World News Now this morning. They mentioned another event getting around 5500 tweets/minute. I think it was the Japan quake.

It is not every question that deserves an answer. -- Publilius Syrus

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