Revelers from D.C. to NYC take to the streets at the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed. Photo by Associated Press.
Revelers in New York City and Washington D.C. rocked American flags and colors until all hours on Sunday, May 1, 2011 at the news that a highly coordinated raid by U.S. Navy SEAL’s took down Osama bin Laden at his fortified compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Obviously this is huge news for the entire world, but especially for the United States which for the past 10 years, has been frustrated that the man behind the September 11th attacks had yet to be caught.
An interesting aspect of the news was how social media once again has changed how the world, particularly youth culture, got the news before President Barack Obama went on mainstream TV to announce it and how it spread after. According to Global Post, a tweet from Sohaib Athar in Abbottabad got the ball rolling when he tweeted a complaint about hovering heli’s which was “a rare event” and military blocking off parts of the city that night.
From there, social media moved into full force with some 4,000 tweets per second during President Obama’s announcement. Trending were hashtagged words like #Abbottabad, #Navy Seals, #Obi. Within 2 hours of the speech a facebook page “Osama Bin Laden is DEAD” had 150,000 likes. Likes are being added by the second, meanwhile Foursquare users started checking in and Google Map users pinpointed the compound in Abbottabad.