When Emma Way hit a cyclist and drove off, she might have gotten away with it if she had not tweeted about it soon afterward.
In the tweet, from her account which is now deleted, she said, "Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier - I have right of way he doesn't even pay road tax! #bloodycyclists"
Way, from Norwich, England, had a small circle of 100 followers on Twitter. But the tweet soon spread, and got the attention of Norwich Police.
Norwich Police tweeted back, "@emmaway20 we have had tweets ref an RTC with a bike. We suggest you report it at a police station ASAP if not done already & then dm us"
And soon after that, more people saw the tweet, eventually locating the injured person.
James Lucas tweeted that he knew the man who was hit, saying, "Police are on the case. They had already located her and were just waiting for the victim to come forward. He has contacted them …"
The cyclist was Toby Hockley, who was interviewed later by BBC.
"A car came tearing round the blind corner and narrowly missed a cyclist in front of me," he said. "She came on my side of the road, I took the wing mirror off and I went flying off my bike into a hedge. She hit me hard, really hard. I am lucky to be alive."
"But I managed to get out of the hedge and stand up. The car was nowhere to be seen. She hit me and she was gone. All I knew is that it was a blonde girl driving."
Way faces charges, and she also faces losing her job. The people of the Internet used their power to alert her employer of what she had done.
Larking Gowen issued a statement saying, "Thank you for taking the time to email Larking Gowen regarding the tweets posted by one of our employees on their personal twitter account."
"Please be assured that this is not a view held by the firm and we most certainly do not condone this behavior. We are taking the incidents very seriously, and a full and detailed investigation will be carried out and appropriate action taken. We have already spoken to Norfolk Police."
And, as Up Roxx noted, road tax does not exist, despite Way's claims.
Twitter’s popularity is beginning to take off as teens begin to lose a bit of interest in Facebook. The reason? Facebook apparently has way too many adult users and much more drama than the youth population can stand to deal with.
It mostly seems to be a privacy thing. Part of Twitter’s drawing power, says the LA Times, is that “teens don’t have to use their real names so they don’t have to worry about updates turning up in Google searches or being discovered by parents.”
And that goes for incoming information, as well. The NY Post writes that teens express dissatisfaction with the abundance of information that shows up on their Facebook news feeds, saying that the massive influx of drama, from who broke up with who to what someone’s dinner looked like, is more of an annoyance than a point of interest.
Facebook isn’t necessarily suffering from this recent migration to Twitter, though. The NY Post reports that 94 percent of teens studied by the Pew Research Center still utilize Facebook. Amanda Lenhart, one of the authors of the study, says that teens “still have their Facebook profiles, but they spend less time on them and move to places like Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr."
Twenty five percent of online teens use Twitter, the study shows, which is an increase of 11 percent from 2011. Studies have also showed that, despite the rise in the amount of information that is being shared via Facebook, there has also been an increase in the use of restrictive privacy settings. “Six out of ten teens say they use restrictive privacy settings to be sure their posts are seen only by their friends,” writes the LA Times.
An interesting tidbit is that despite a seemingly heightened concern with privacy, teens don’t seem to care much about being specifically targeted by marketers. In this case, writes the LA Times, adults are actually much more wary.
A campaign launched by hacktivist group Anonymous has gained traction on Twitter, drawing attention to the enduring Guantanamo Bay hunger strike that began in February and pressuring President Obama to close the detention camp.
As Guantanamo inmates reach day 100 in their hunger strike to protest their imprisonment and alleged mistreatment, hashtages #OpGITMO and #GTMO19 have become increasingly popular on Twitter.
“Operation Guantanamo” launched on May 17 with protests before the White House and thousands of Twitter users referencing the operation every few seconds.
Obama is expected to discuss the closing of Guantanamo in a speech, along with his counter-terrorism policy and the use of drones, on Thursday.
"He will review our detention policy and efforts to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, and he will frame the future of our efforts against al Qaeda, its affiliates and adherents," said a White House official, speaking anonymously.
The press release for Operation Gitmo said:
With no hope for justice, over 100 men who have been held and tortured for years have gone on a hunger strike. On May 18th, it will have been 100 days since they have eaten voluntarily. Prisoners have died suddenly, violently, and suspiciously. All inmates in Guantanamo Bay have been locked in solitary confinement. Some are being force fed, an international crime. These men face the prospect of a terrible death in prison despite many of them having been cleared for release years ago.
Meant originally to only be a three-day campaign, the hashtags are still popular. OpGitmo users on Twitter share media stories that talk about the force-feeding of inmates or those held after being cleared of wrongdoing.
The petition to close the detention camp on Change.org has received over 212,000 signatures.
Use Twitter and your soul is damned, according to Abdul Latif Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, the senior religious authority in Saudi Arabia.
A Saudi who uses the popular microblogging service "has lost this world and his afterlife," the prominent cleric said. His full title is Grand Mufti and General President for Scientific Researches and Fatwa, a position he has held since 1999.
According to the BBC, the cleric's comments are part of an effort by the nation's American-backed dictatorship to suppress the US-based web service. Activists in the kingdom use Twitter to communicate anti-government and humans rights messages.
In April, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, the imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, characterized Twitter as a threat to “national unity.” Al-Sudais has previously been criticized for anti-Semitic comments, including praying for God to “terminate” all Jews.
"The government cannot follow everybody's Twitter user name," a Saudi protestor told NPR. "The authorities have to be selective and, hopefully, they don't select my name." Saudi authorities have recently begun to crack down on Twitter users, arresting human rights activists.
Unlike rival Facebook, Twitter allows users to communicate anonymously. The service has been used extensively for communications during the Arab Spring uprisings of the past few years.
Al ash-Sheikh came under intense international criticism in 2012, when he called for all Christian churches in the Arabian peninsula to be destroyed.
Six citizens of Bahrain have been sentenced to a year in prison for using Twitter to insult King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, a court ruled Wednesday.
The six, who were not identified, were accused of "undermining the values and traditions of Bahrain's society towards the king on Twitter.”
They appeared in lower criminal court on charges of “misusing the right of free expression,” said a government statement posted online Wednesday.
“Free expression is a right adopted by law … but must be practiced objectively away from insults and undermining values,” the statement said.
A Shiite-led uprising began in Bahrain two years ago against the ruling Sunni monarchy. Since then activists have used Twitter to report what they refer to as regime “violations” against the Bahrainian people.
A prominent human rights activist activist, Nabeel Rajab, was sentenced to three years in prison for insulting Sunni majority members on Twitter. A member of the Middle East Division of the Human Rights Watch, Rajab was also accused of insulting security forces.
Liberal blogger Ali Abdulemam was sentenced to 15 years in absentia for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Bahranian governement. The pro-democracy activist was able to escape the island nation and later surfaced in London.
Since protests began in February 2011, 80 people have died, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.
Situated in the Persian Gulf the island is a center for offshore financial services within the oil-rich middle east.
Thousands of American girls have developed a crush on the Boston Marathon bombing suspect and are using social media to exonerate him.
The hashtag to FreeJahar, referring to 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has been trending on Twitter and Facebook. One girl from Topeka, Kan., said she would get a phrase tweeted by Tsarnaev just a week before the terrorist attack tattooed on her body.
“Getting one of Jahar’s tweets tattooed on me tomorrow. Guess you could say I’m a #FreeJahar supporter,” @keepitbluntedd tweeted on May 7. The quote, tweeted by Tsarnaev on April 8, reads: “If you have the knowledge and the inspiration, all that’s left is to take action.”
The girl, named Alisha, later tweeted that she would postpone getting Tsarnaev’s words tattooed on her upper arm, “out of respect of my family’s wishes.”
Alisha told The Post that she doesn’t insist Tsarnaev is innocent because she has a schoolgirl crush. “Somebody needs to stand up for him, and not the little high-school girls who just think he’s cute,” Alisha said.
Rather it is her opinon that he was “just this pothead 19-year-old boy who didn’t care.” He couldn’t be the bomber. “I don’t see it,” she said.
Twitter accounts have popped up under different handles asserting that the 19-year-old is innocent.
“Jahar boy of love & Truth Innocent his trail is the real test for American Democracy,” tweeted freejaharlove on May 9.
The user Tsarnaev5ever tweeted, “Jahar is gonna go crazy in that cell alone with just a book ... I wanna send money to him ... Anyone have the address?”
Some users have tweeted under #FreeJahar referencing the latest reports that Dzhokhar’s older brother Tamerlan was allegedly physically and emotionally abusive towards his longtime girlfriend Nadine Ascencao.
Lovenoh8Peyton asked, “Why do Muslim men treat woman so poorly? #freejahar”
To which _JaharSupport responded, “You’re seriously the worst person ever. I feel bad for your kid.”
Other users warned not to use the hashtag for crushes or puppy love. “If you think jahar is "hot" or something it's fine but don't tweet. keep it to yourself. that's the think that makes us look bad,” Justice4Jahar1 tweeted today.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured and is being held at federal prison in Fort Devens, Mass., on charges of using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.
His brother Tamerlan died in a shootout with police on April 19, four days after he allegedly set off bombs at the Boston Marathon killing three people and injuring hundreds. He left behind a wife and a 3-year-old daughter.
A group of cartography students at Humboldt State University analyzed tweets that included hate words to map racism in American and discover where the most hateful groups reside.
California students using data from the DOLLY Project looked for 10 slurs in three categories: Racism, homophobia and disability. DOLLY, an acronym for Digital OnLine Life and You, aggregates geolocated tweets for research and analysis.
Studying 150,000 tweets from June 2012 to April 2013, students from Dr. Monica Stephens’ advanced cartography class created an interactive map for the Geography of Hate project.
The algorithm took into account context, so that hate words used in negative ways only made it onto the map. Therefore, a phrase like “dykes on bikes” would be left out of the map because it’s a gay pride reference in San Francisco.
Students found 41,306 tweets that contained the N-word, but the usage was not concentrated in any single U.S. region. Pockets of concentration were found, instead, in areas of East Iowa and Fountain, Indiana.
The map shows a much higher concentration for all slurs in areas on the Eastern half of the country, east of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. However, considering population and social media usage in those states might explain the disparity.
The scale that DOLLY uses is “normalized” to account for total Twitter traffic in each country.
The term “wetback,” a derogatory slang for a non-American, usually a Mexican, who is in the U.S. illegally, is concentrated in Texas.
The highest concentration of the disability hate word “cripple” appeared to be on the border of Montana and North Dakota.
Yesterday, a man fired an AR-15 into the air near a checkpoint at Houston’s Bush Intercontinental Airport. According to reports, the shooter managed to get off two shots before an air marshal opened fire on the man. Those shots missed, so the shooter pulled out a handgun and committed suicide.
Today, the National Rifle Association begins its 142nd annual meeting in Houston at the George R. Brown Convention Center.
Gun control advocates couldn’t resist drawing a connection. Twitter has exploded with a flurry of caustic gun control rhetoric as gun control advocates throw blame at the NRA.
One user wrote, “Sorry to hear the rumor that someone going to the #NRA convention had a negligent discharge at the airport.” Another user wrote, “#SarahPalin / Youre wanted at #TerminalB at #IAH / Something about Some #AssClowns? / FU @NRA! GTFO of Houston! #GunControl #uniteblue #ctl”
The most popular joke revolves around the opening ceremonies. Insooutso wrote, “Looks like the Opening Ceremonies for the NRA meeting in Houston have begun” and user TBogg added, “Calm down.Guy shooting guns & himself at the Houston airport is just part of the opening ceremonies for the NRA's meeting there this weekend.”
Obviously, the NRA is not responsible for the suicide – at least not directly. At most, NRA-backed policies could have made it easier for the shooter to get a gun, so the link between the NRA and the incident is tenuous at best. Nonetheless, these tongue-in-cheek remarks draw attention to the prevalence of gun violence in the US and the alleged apathy of organizations like the NRA.
In fact, suicides are the number one cause of gun-related deaths in the US. The incident in the airport adds one more number to the ever-growing pile of statistics.
What do you think? Is the shooting incident merely an unfortunate coincidence that has no real, tangible connection? Or should the NRA truly feel partially responsible for the thousands of gun-related suicides each year?
Chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Warren Buffet has started a Twitter (@WarrenBuffet), and is accumulating more followers faster than he makes money.
Buffet, 82, from Omaha, Nebraska, joined the service on Thursday and made his first tweet: "Warren is in the house."
He then began picking up 1,000 followers a minute. After 45 minutes, he had 45,000 followers.
Though the account has not been verified through Twitter, Fortune magazine confirmed it after he made an appearance on a live webcast that day. It is the first time the billionaire has ever made a social media presence.
Comparing his followers to dollars, he seems to have better luck with Twitter. When Buffet made his best investment ever, with a 2008 stake in Goldman Sachs Group Inc., he made $900 a minute. On the social media site, he is gathering 1,000 followers a minute.
He joins many other entrepreneurs, billionaires and presidents on Twitter, with recent users being News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch and former U.S. President Bill Clinton.
Associated Press Twitter Account Hacked, False Reports of White House Explosions Cause Dow to Plummet
After two fake tweets were posted on Associated Press’ Twitter account, questions arose over the security of Twitter and the validity of breaking news on social media sites.
False reports of White House explosions and an injured Obama sent Dow Jones plummeting by 143 points, in an unnervingly similar scene of Hollywood’s most recent “fall of government” film fad. The tweet began a series of answers to “what-if” scenarios regarding the collapse or overtake of the US government.
The hackers claim to be a group called the Syrian Electronic Army, who recently took over Twitter accounts belonging to CBS and Sepp Blatter, and the Qatar Foundation twitter account in March.
“Need a new career?” The SEA posted, “Qutar Foundation will fund your training as a terrorist in Syria.”
The SEA appears to have no clear motivation in hacking, except that they have the ability to do so.
Bloomberg, a proponent of Twitter and its use in the market, announced it would add Twitter to its terminals despite the recent inaccuracies and being the source of a “flash crash”. This is a considerably progressive step considering some firms don’t allow any access to Twitter, arguing that it is dangerous for touchy investors and, if nothing else, distracting.
The mock-tweets occurred only days after multiple sources reported Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was dead, information that also stemmed from Twitter rumors.
In response to its security issue, Twitter has announced a “two-factor authentication” option, supposedly making hacking impossible. No release date has been announced.