Anorak | How twitter caused Whitney Houston’s death

How twitter caused Whitney Houston’s death

by | 15th, February 2012

DID Whitney Houston die first on twitter? Everyone likes to be first with the news, and it loks like twitter user @AjaDiorNavy scooped the world:

omgg , my aunt tiffany who work for whitney houston just found whitney houston dead in the tub . such ashame & sad 🙁

Of course, her aunty got their first.

The Associated Press was the first mainstream source to make the announcement about Houston’s death, sending out at tweet at 1657 PST.

But hold on! Was @BarBeeBritt, the first when she (Brittany J pullard) enquired at 1602 PST on February 11.

“Is Whitney Houston really dead?”

Dave Copeland is unconvinced:

It’s been awhile since I was in journalism school, but the claim that @BarBeeBritt “broke” the story is not in line with what I remember learning there. What I remember is that you did indeed break stories by reporting them first, but that verb is crucial: reporting, as in going out, gathering and verifying facts as opposed to the act of speculation and information seeking with a flick of your thumbs.

You can’t be a reporter if you only use your thumbs? In Copeland’s day it was all index fingers. Before that it was just shouting. We progress. We evolve.

Of course, asking if someone is dead, is not the same thing as announcing their death. Not being in the public eye is not the same thing as being dead. Unless twitter works as a curse and when you start talking about someone being dead they become dead. In which case we and all the gang at would like to apologise for asking if the following people were dead: Geoff Hurst, Jimmy Greaves, Nelson Mandela, Stu Francis, everyone Old Mr Anorak went to school with back in Rhodesia, Neil Armstong and the St Winnifred’s School Choir (and their grandma)…

Posted: 15th, February 2012 | In: Technology Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink