Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Mainstream media beaten by 'Everyman' with first Tweet on Whitney Houston's death

A Twitter post by "Everyman" appears to have beaten mainstream media to the punch on Saturday. A Tweet by @AjaDiorNavy beat the Associated Press Tweet on Whitney Houston's death by over 40 minutes.

@AjaDiorNavy's Tweet, posted at 4:15 p.m. PST, was 42 minutes earlier than the Associated Press' Tweet. It said:

"omgg , my aunt tiffany who work for whitney houston just found whitney houston dead in the tub . such ashame & sad :-("

Also of note is that @AjaDiorNavy's Tweet lists Whitney Houston's cause of death, or at least, how she was found. The coroner won't give final results until toxicology reports return, but it's generally accepted now that the pop singer was found underwater in her hotel room bathtub.

It's not the first time that an ordinary citizen has been the first to report a breaking news story. For example, the 2011 raid against Osama bin Laden's compound was live-micro-blogged, so to speak, by two Twitter members.

News of Whitney Houston's death swept across Twitter quickly. Within the first hour, about 2.5 million tweets and retweets were posted, or about 1,000 tweets per second, according to Topsy Labs. It wasn't a record though: Super Bowl XLVI still holds that honor. Tweets peaked at 5:23 p.m. PST at 61,227 tweets in that minute.

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