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Twitter Scoops Media in Breaking California Earthquake News

Twitter Plays a Central Role in Earthquake News
Yesterday, Twitter proved its mettle, and for once, didn't buckle under the pressure as a barrage of tweets poured in just seconds after the earthquake struck (and before it ended). Twitter, while popular, has become known for its frequent unscheduled "down time," symbolized by its accidental mascot, the Fail Whale. Yesterday, Twitter stayed strong, allowing those on the west coast to share news about the 5.4 magnitude earthquake that shook Los Angeles. In fact, Twitter managed to stay operative while telephone and cell phone networks became clogged with friends and family trying to contact each other in the quake's wake.

Not only did Twitter remain steadfast where more traditional methods of communication stumbled, it beat traditional media out of the gate with news about the earthquake. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone claims that the first mention of the quake appeared on Twitter nine minutes before the first AP wire. Specific time stamps were not available to confirm the claim, but we could confirm that Twitter users beat Reuters to the punch by about 20 minutes. Details about the extent of damage, magnitude, and epicenter were circulating hours before news outlets had their first full length articles up.

Following success in breaking the tragic story of the earthquake in China earlier this year, Twitter again proved itself to be useful beyond just sharing what you had for breakfast or how hung-over you are. [Source: Venture Beat, CNET, Via: Textually]

Tags: earthquake, media, news, twitter