[tweetmeme]Once again, a Twitter post was the first to break the news. Several news outlets, including The New York Times in its article “How the Bin Laden Announcement Leaked Out,” credit this tweet at 10:25 pm EST by Keith Urbahn, the chief of staff to former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Obama Bin Laden. Hot damn” as the first news leak.
Soon after the post, according to the Times article, anonymous sources at the Pentagon and the White House started to tell reporters the same information.
The Power of Social Networks
It was extraordinary that Dan Pfeiff, the White House communications director, posted his own tweet at 9:45 announcing. “Potus to address the nation tonight at 10:30 PM Eastern Time.” Twitter and Facebook began lighting up with posts in anticipation of the President’s speech to the nation. Soon, the report of Bin Laden’s death was flashing around the world on social networks.
Does anyone still doubt the power of social media? I hope I stop hearing complaints from doubters that they don’t use Twitter because they’re not interested in what someone had for breakfast, or seeing photos of people’s children on Facebook. They are way, way behind the times.
Twitter and Facebook have become so much more than social networks. They are recognized news sources – where journalists often learn the news first, whether it’s about Bin Laden or the devastation wrought by tornadoes and tsunamis.
Come on you non-believers. What will it take for you to get serious about social media?