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The Tweet That Changed the World

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LIVE-TWEET, FIGURATIVELY
DailyFeed
Unless you've been living in a cave -- and if you have, I'm glad you didn't have a roommate -- Osama bin Laden was killed in a US raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Thanks to social media, word spread almost instantaneously following his death, as many traditional media outlets were scooped by millions of Average Joes tweeting "Trump wants to see the long-form death certificate." The speed in which the event was shared led to a memorable moment during last night's Mets-Phillies game where everyone's iPhones and Androids alerted the crowd to the news. (An NBC report used the collective term "BlackBerries" in a very entertaining use of an expired proprietary eponym.)


But prior to all the jokes about how bin Laden "shouldn't have checked into Foursquare" and "was caught by the iPhone Tracker," someone had to be the first to break the news. So who was it?

If you want to talk officially, that could be credited to Keith Urbahn, former chief of staff for Bush's Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. About 40 minutes following the 9:45 PM ET announcement that President Obama was going to address the nation, Urbahn wrote, "So I'm told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn."

However, if you want the very first tweet regarding the US raid and bin Laden's death, that would be written by an unassuming IT contractor not 2-3 kilometers from where the attack took place. TechCrunch reports that Sohaib Athar -- or @ReallyVirtual on Twitter -- unwittingly live-tweeted the event before knowing the sheer scope of the results.








But eventually, Athar realized how momentous the occasion was.


Behold the power of Twitter.

(See also: Apple's iPhone Tracking Now a Legal Matter and Google Faces $50 Million Fine for Android Tracking Data)
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