Twitter's best tweets of 2011
Published 02/12/2011 | 13:05
Twitter has compiled its list of the best tweets of the year, from the first unwitting report of the attack on Osama bin Laden to the uncensored lipreading of football stars during matches.
"Welcome back Egypt #Jan25"
Wael Ghonim, a Google marketing manager, became a symbol of the Arab Spring in Egypt after he was arrested and held in captivity for nearly 12 days by the authorities in Cairo.
When he was released in February, Ghonim tweeted: “Welcome back Egypt.”
He told the media not to focus on him, saying: “I'm not a hero. The real heroes are the youth who are behind this revolution. By God's will, we're going to clean this country of this rubbish.”
Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s co-founder, has said: "I think the most important lesson there was that you give people simple tools and they will use them in good ways."
"Helicopter hovering above Abbottabad at 1AM (is a rare event)."
Sohaib Athar, an IT consultant working in Abbottabad, Pakistan, had gone to the military town to “take a break from the rat-race”.
Instead, he ended up living at the centre of attention for the world’s media when he noticed a helicopter hovering overhead on May 1, which was unusual, given it was the middle of the night.
He tweeted such and unwittingly gave the first report of the top secret US Navy Seal raid which culminated in the death of Osama bin Laden, the world’s most wanted man.
"my daughter her name is sarah m. rivera"
A homeless man called Daniel Morales living in New York was reunited with his daughter after years apart after his first, single tweet.
In February, Puerto Rican-born Morales was given the use of a prepaid mobile phone through an organisation called Underheard, which helps give a voice to homeless people.
Morales used the phone to set up a Twitter account and tweet: "my daughter her name is sarah m rivera." He also posted a photograph of his daughter aged 16 and, later, his number. Sarah, now 27, called him the next day.
"This lockout is really boring..anybody playing flag football in Okc.."
During this year’s standoff between the basketball players in the US’s NBA and the sport’s authorities over money, Kevin Durant, 23, a forward with the Oklahoma City Thunder, was just itching for a bit of competitive sport. So, in October, he asked if anyone fancied a game of non-contact American Football. A university student in the city responded and, a few hours later, the basketballer, one of the superstars of the NBA, turned up to play.
"Brooms up London!"
This August riots across London sparked a demonstrative response from citizens angry at the damage to their communities in the south of the city. They rallied on Facebook and Twitter to organize a mass clean-up effort in the affected areas, such as Clapham, with one Twitter account, @riotcleanup, getting over 70,000 followers. The attitude was typified by Andrew Hayden-Smith, an actor, who tweeted a picture, saying: "Brooms up London!"
"Here's another Photo of the shuttle from my plane."
In May, Stefanie Gordon, a 33-year-old events organiser from Hoboken, New Jersey, was flying to meet her mother in Florida when she woke up and looked out of the window to see the space shuttle Endeavour emerge from the clouds and blast into space. The astonishing photo she took became an internet smash.
This is effectively a collective tweet as, on March 11 a devastating 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami hit Japan, with many people turning to whatever social media they had to hand to contact friends and family.
Twitter proved vital for many in passing on emergency information and disseminating data on precise situations. Mr Dorsey said: “To me it's about being able to reach out instantly and know that others are with you and others are experiencing the same thing and others are out there supporting and that's what you saw in Japan.”
"Subtitles are always so bad."
In protest at the poor quality of subtitles for the commentary of televised football matches, Julia Probst, a lip reader, tweeted an alternative version in November by publishing what the players and coaches said during games.
Her work has both raised awareness of deaf people and offered an insight into the drama of the sport which is normally only available to those playing.
"Ercis central mosque behind the apartment building..."
After the earthquake in Van, Turkey, in October, a local news channel anchor called Okan Bayulgen sent relief and aftershock information via Twitter.
One of his followers gave him an address where people might be trapped alive under the rubble. Bayulgen shared the address with relief workers and two hours later the agency rescued two people there.
"Hey @Mortons - can you meet me at the newark airport with a porthouse when I land in two hours?"
On August 17, perhaps more in hope than expectation, Peter Shankman, a financial consultant, was en route back to New York when he got hungry and tweeted his wish to be met with a steak from his favourite restaurant, Mortons.
To his stomach's delight, and his considerable surprise, he was met on arrival at Newark with a tuxedo-clad waiter holding a steak, as well as some shrimp, potatoes and bread, all ready for him to tuck in.