Twitter has revolutionised how we see social media and communication. From getting us closer to our favourite celebrities, to finding out breaking news before media houses, Twitter has seen it all in it’s 10 years. Despite the hatred and the bad press about its fame dropping, the microblogging site is going strong.
Here are some instances when Twitter helped change the world, in its own small way.
1. Every time the Indian Rail Ministry responded to passeneger complaints
Everyone knows about how Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu is making good use of Twitter. From bringing food to starved children, to helping a woman being harassed, Twitter has applauded the Rail Ministry in being prompt by using the social media platform.
2. When Tweeple were the superheroes of the day during the Chennai Floods
By using the hashtags #ChennaiRains and #ChennaiRainsHelp, people living in safe areas around Chennai gathered help, food, clothing, and also shelter for those stuck in the floods. Some people started curating the tweets based on the hashtags and provided transport of commodities from those who had help, but couldn’t get it to the needy.
3. When one hashtag led a band to play in a big music festival
When the original lineup was announced for the 2014 Download Festival, a metal band called Dying Fetus was left out of the final list. But the fans wouldn’t have any of it. Fans started circulating tweets using the hashtag #WhyNotDyingFetus, urging the organisers of Download Festival to include them in their lineup. Ultimately, they caved, and Dying Fetus was included in the list and they played a sold out show.
4. When Twitter reported news of a plane crash in New York before news agencies
In January of 2009, the Twitterverse and eventually the Internet exploded when a few Twitter users started tweeting pictures of a plane crashed in the New York’s Hudson River. News agencies eventually caught up with it and covered the entire news, and the flight was in fact found out to be US Airways flight 1549. This was yet another example of Twitter being the source of Breaking News for the world.
5. When a Twitter user unintentionally revealed Osama Bin Laden’s assassination raid
When a helicopter was hovering over Abottabad, an IT consultant tweeted about it when it happened at 1am. Later, he tweeted about a “window shaking bang” in the Abottabad Cantonment. It was only when President Obama shared the news about Bin Laden’s death that he came to realise what worth his tweets had been.
6. When Twitter saved a frustrated accountant from getting convicted
In 2009/2010, Paul Chambers, frustrated because of the Robin Hood airport being shut due to snow, tweeted that he’d “blow the airport sky high.” Police picked it up as a gross electronic communication and arrested him. Many personalities and other Twitter users tweeted in support, saying that it was meant to be a joke. In 2012, Chambers was acquitted of all charges and Twitter saved the day again.
7. When Twitter was a voice of activism in the Arab world
Starting 2010, a horde of riots, civil uprisings, and revolution spread throughout the Arab world due to the dissatisfaction of local governments. Twitter played a huge hand in the voicing the concerns of the people and #ArabSpring became a globally trending hashtag and led to global awareness about activism and the voice of the people and its power.
These moments from the social world just show the power that technology and social media have over influencing the course of events of the world, and it just makes us #LoveTwitter more.
Starting in 🇦🇺 on 3/21 and moving across the 🌍, we thank you for 10 incredible years.
— Twitter (@Twitter) March 20, 2016