Bin Laden death sends Internet traffic soaring

By: Mel Joelle

That volume is on par with the 4,064 tweets-per-second peak of this year\'s Super Bowl, but still far short of the 6,939 tweets per second record set when Japan brought in the 2011 new year.\r\n\r\nTwitter recently has played an increasingly important role as a disseminator of breaking news, and the bin Laden story was another prime example.\r\n\r\nJust before White House officials told the news media that bin Laden had been killed, Keith Urbahn, former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld\'s chief of staff, spread the word via Twitter.\r\n\r\n\"So I\'m told by a reputable person they have killed Osama Bin Laden. Hot damn.\"\r\n\r\nUrbahn later said he was tipped off by a well-connected network TV news producer.\r\n\r\nOther news agencies quickly followed with tweets, and the microblogging site soon exploded with information about the event.\r\n\r\nUrbahn was actually not the first to break the news. A Pakistani IT consultant named Sohaib Athar with the Twitter handle ReallyVirtual, who lives in the city of Abbottabad where bin Laden was killed, unwittingly live-tweeted the event as it was happening.\r\n\r\n\"A huge window shaking bang here in Abbottabad ... I hope its not the start of something nasty\" Athar tweeted at about 5:00 p.m. ET on Sunday.

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