Posted by: Nasreen on May 04, 2011
The news of Osama Bin Laden's death broke out to millions on Sunday 1st May at 11:45 ET with the help of twitter, facebook and youtube, where most people found out through the social networking sites than on actual tv and radio.
According to CNN.com, a Facebook Page called "Osama Bin Laden is DEAD" accumulated over 150,000 likes. Multiple Twitter accounts have been set up attracting thousands of followers instantly.
Once again, a major global event highlights that media is no longer a broadcast activity and that social networks magnifies activity instantly.
Nearly ten years ago, news of the September 11 tragedy was broadcasted by news stations and radio all over. Today’s headlines are spreading like wild fire through a new medium: social media.
Social media experts say it's not surprising that the news of the death got out so quickly. Sites like Facebook and Twitter both broke major news stories in recent months, even before traditional outlets could put the information on their websites.
Before Barack Obama even addressed the nation, speculation tweets exploded on Twitter.
Twitter has released updated statistics on the usage of its platform and the social media company had reported that more than 4,000 tweets were sent per second during the beginning and the end of Obama’s speech. Apparently the real number of tweets was about 25% higher.
Twitter has released a graph depicting Twitter activity on the 1st May
While we may get information directly from friends on this social media platform in real time fueled by the multiple social networks, we don't instantly trust it all. Even though the news of Bin Ladens death had flooded my facebook home page, I still found myself taking a quick look at the New York Times site as a way to validate and cross check the historical news.
"People turn to social media to kind of keep a pulse on what's going on, but if they want the facts, they're going to turn to traditional channels," said Ten Haken president of Click Rain Online Marketing.
Social media provides a really interesting second layer of news, and if people want facts, they go to the actual news websites.
There has been a lot of speculation since Bin Laden's death, with claims that hes not actually dead and that Al Qaeda does not exist. So although the social networks provide useful insights for real time news, it is always a better option to fact check and clarify with the traditional news websites.