Monday, May 2, 2011

The Twitter Man doth not know what he Tweeted (WSJ)

A man in Abbottabad, the town where Osama bin Laden was killed by the U.S. on Monday, inadvertently live-tweeted the attack as it started.

Screengrab of Sohaib Athar’s Twitter page.
The man, who uses the Twitter handle “ReallyVirtual”, identifies himself as Sohaib Athar, “an IT consultant taking a break from the rat-race by hiding in the mountains with his laptops.”
Around 11 hours ago, according to the Twitter timeline, Mr. Athar first tweeted about a helicopter hovering above him at 1 a.m., saying it was a “rare event” for Abbottabad. That would have been at about 3.30 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday.
Still, Mr. Athar seems to have thought of it as a mere annoyance, as his next tweet was “Go away helicopter – before I take out my giant swatter :-/”
Within minutes, he tweeted: “A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad Cantt. I hope its not the start of something nasty :-S”.
After a while when the sound of the helicopter stopped following a blast, Mr. Athar tweeted “seems like my giant swatter worked !”
That was followed by a Twitter discussion about what had happened. He wrote to “@m0hcin the few people online at this time of the night are saying one of the copters was not Pakistani…”
Mr. Athar noted that “Since taliban (probably) don’t have helicpoters, and since they’re saying it was not ‘ours’, so must be a complicated situation#abbottabad

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