Los Angeles – As news broke Sunday night that U.S. forces
had killed Osama Bin Laden, Americans turned in droves to social media sites
like Twitter and Facebook to learn the latest developments. In fact, according
to Business Insider, Twitter was the first news source — including cable news
— to report Bin Laden’s death when Keith Urbahn, former chief of staff to
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, at 10:25 p.m. ET tweeted, "So I’m told
by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn."
was about 20 minutes before the major TV networks confirmed the news, and more
than an hour before Obama officially announced it to the nation.
Wired and others noted that several locals in the city of Abbottabad
unknowingly live-tweeted the raid on Bin Laden’s compound.
hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)" was the first of
several tweets from Twitter user ReallyVirtual, aka Sohaib Athar.
The hours following
saw people flock to Facebook to discuss the historic night.
As of midday
Monday, a page entitled, "Osama Bin Laden is DEAD" had garnered more
than 350,000 "likes."
And Keynote Systems, a Silicon Valley firm that
measures the performance of websites, said that, in the moments following
Sunday’s news, "the leading connected and mobile news sites began to
experience performance slowdowns and streaming sites too groaned under the