2011 in Tweets
In 2011, technology was the engine of every big story, it changed the news and the way we heard it. Here are some of the most memorable moments of a year when the micro-blogging service Twitter was the first to break many influential headlines.
Welcome back Egypt #Jan25”
Wael Ghonim became a symbol for the #Jan25 pro-democracy movement in Egypt, after he was arrested and held in captivity for almost two weeks by the authorities in Cairo. Shortly after being released he claimed “If you want to liberate a government, give them the Internet.”
“Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event).”
Shohaib Athar, a 33-year old computer programmer, tweeted about what was happening around him, without knowing that in fact he was giving the first report of the top secret US Navy Seal raid which culminated in the death of Osama bin Laden. After the news of the raid broke, he received a lot of media attention, which he ignored, underling the fact that he was just someone awake late at night, mentioning on Twitter what he saw and heard.
“my daughter her name is Sarah m. Rivera”
After 11 years of being apart, a homeless man called Daniel Morales reunited with his daughter, thanks to a single tweet. In February, the man was supported by an organisation called Underheard, which helps the homeless residents from New York share their messages through Twitter. Together with the Tweet, Morales also posted a photograph with his daughter from 2000. The next day, his daughter Sarah called him.
On March 11 a terrible 8.9 earthquake and tsunami hit Japan and social media erupted with hashtags and crisis assistance, such as Google’s Crisis Center. In August 2011, when it was announced that a hurricane was headed for New York, people were ready to hit the social networks. The Hurricane Irene had its own Facebook pace and Twitter account.
On the 29th of April the royal Wedding dominated social media sites and dozens of people were mentioning it every second on Twitter and Facebook. According to telegraph.co.uk, the royal wedding was mentioned 67 times per second on Twitter, while on Facebook it counted 74 mentions every second. No wonder that the hashtag #royal wedding, which dominated the trending topics list, was sponsored by an ice cream company.
“Here's another photo of the shuttle from my plane”
When NASA’s space shuttle Endeavour launched in May 2011, Stefanie Gordot, a 33-year-old events organiser from New Jersey caught an incredible photo and posted it on Twitter. The photo became an internet sensation being seen by hundreds of thousands of people.
“Brooms up London”
In August 2011, protestors rioted and looted in the streets of London as a response to police shooting Mark Duggan. People were using Twitter, Facebook and BlackBerry Messenger in order to communicate about the riots. Soon after the conflict settled-down, citizens relied on social networks to organize a mass clean-up in the affected areas. The @RiotCleanup Twitter page hit 50,000 in less than 10 hours. Andrew Hayden, an actor, tweeted his picture, saying: “Brooms up London!”
“I will miss Steve immensely”
In October 2011, Apple founder and CEO Steve Jobs died. People everywhere paid tribute to the tech innovator through social networks and were encouraged to create impromptu memorials for Steve Jobs. At that time, Bill Gates tweeted: “For those of us lucky enough to get to work with Steve, it’s been an insanely great honor. I will miss Steve immensely.b-gat.es/qHXDsU” .
Fox News Twitter Hack
A group of hackers called Scriptkiddies broke into FOX News’ Twitter account to tweet false information about the assassination of President Obama. Later they hacked NBC News’ Twitter account to tweet fake reports of a Ground Zero attack, according to mashable.com.
100 million people around the globe are using Twitter to see what’s happening in the world every second. In 2011 personalities like Nelson Mandela, Joe Biden, Plaxico Burress, Christina Aguilera, Salman Rushdie and the Pope all joined Twitter.
Who do you predict that is going to start tweeting next year and how is social media going influence the global community in 2012?
By Denisa Caciulan