Hands of a guy on laptop keyboard

How did the world learn about Bin Laden’s death? Twitter, of course

Published on 02 May 2011
Updated on 05 April 2024

It was one tweet, yesterday at 10:25 pm (EDT) that seemed to confirm the news. In a short time, the news ‘erupted’ on Twitter and other social networks.


The tweet came from Keith Urbahn, chief of staff for former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who tweeted, “So I’m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.” The Huffington Post captured the tweet. Meanwhile, the US President was still writing his speech.

This article in The New York Times describes how the news leaked out, and how it had already spread virally around the world by the time President Obama delivered his address at 11:35 pm.

As the Reuters journalist put it this morning, it was Twitter’s defining moment.
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

Subscribe to Diplo's Blog