San Bernardino Sheriff's Department asks media to stop tweeting, the response

In the midst of the flurry of news activity Tuesday afternoon came a request from the San Bernardino District Attorney's office: please stop tweeting. "Big Bear," "SWAT team" and "cabin" had made it to the top of Twitter's national trending list as public interest in the case increased.

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  1. It was an unprecedented request from law enforcement in Southern California, who had already asked helicopters to back off.
  2. Sometime after 5 p.m., the tweet, and request, was deleted.
  3. After posting regularly, the Press-Enterprise stopped tweeting about the manhunt. 
  4. After a few minutes, they clarified the nature of their coverage, but the public still wasn't happy about their decision, though the DA's office thanked them.
  5. (Note: The original tweet has been deleted, this is a RT of that now-deleted tweet.)
  6. Later, CBS Los Angeles complied with the request.
  7. Later, a memo was sent out to CBS stations in LA and San Francisco asking them to comply with the request. 
  8. There is a question whether nationally police have ever asked media to stop tweeting about a news event. Even after they stopped tweeting, the Press Enterprise kept updating their site, and TV coverage continued. 
  9. Media blackouts have been used in the past. In the instance of kidnapped reporters, outlets like the New York Times and NBC have asked other media to refrain from reporting on the incidents, because of safety concerns for the reporter. 

    Local and national media and bloggers were unhappy with the request. Many asked how Twitter was different from TV or radio in terms of continuous coverage.
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