What if Osama had Twitter?

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What if Osama had Twitter?

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What does the digital silence from powerful political organisations tell us about dissemination of information in the internet age?

By the time President Obama faced the camera to announce a key victory in the war on terror, he had already been upstaged by Twitter. Keith Urbahn, chief of staff to the former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, had got wind of something a couple of hours previously. “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn,” he tweeted.

And Obama would be outpaced again later that night by the tweets of Sohaib Athar (aka @reallyvirtual). While the US President gave spare details of the raid, Athar, an IT consultant who had moved from Lahore to Abbottabad for some peace, had written a firsthand account of his irritation at the sound of advancing helicopters. He identified them as non-Pakistani and even noted one of them crashing—something

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Author

Joy Lo Dico

Joy Lo Dico is a contributing editor of Prospect 


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