Social Media Timeline of Osama bin Laden's death

The news of Osama bin Laden's death first broke on Twitter and then spread rapidly. Many people learned of the news initially through Twitter, in much the way cable news is often the first way people learn about breaking news. This timeline, produced by CyberJournalist.net, shows how the story unfolded in social media

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  1. IT consultant Sohaib Athar, a.k.a.@ReallyVirtual, was the first person to report on the raid that killed Osama bin Laden -- without even realizing it. Here is his first tweet. 
  2. And here is what he wrote after he realized what had happened:
  3. The first person to actually report that Osama bin Laden had been killed, with verification, was Donald Rumsfeld's chief of staff, Keith Urbahm.
  4. CBS News producer Jill Jackson then confirmed it shortly after on Twitter, the first major news organization to do so -- in any medium. 
  5. The chatter on Twitter was some of the fastest and most intense ever on the real-time platform.
  6. It's not the first time that folks declared that Twitter has had it's CNN moment -- certainly a case can be made for the Iran protests -- but perhaps it's the most notable to a larger mass audience that was watching and learning of the news on Twitter for the first time.
  7. Meanwhile, on Facebook, a wall that had been created long before bin Laden was killed started to go viral, gaining more than 150,000 Likes within two hours of the news breaking. It continues to grow.
  8. Here is the actual wall:
  9. It's not the first time that folks declared that Twitter has had it's CNN moment -- certainly a case can be made for the Iran protests -- but perhaps it's the most notable to a larger mass audience that was watching and learning of the news on Twitter for the first time.
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