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Updated Dec 04, 2013 at 01:08PM EST by Brad.

Added Dec 03, 2013 at 07:03PM EST by Brad.

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Live-tweeting refers to the practice of reporting on a developing story through a series of real-time status updates on the microblogging network Twitter. While the term can be used to describe citizen journalism in the event of a crisis or personal blogging in real-time, it has become increasingly associated with summaries of overheard and often-private conversations as logged by third-party spectators for entertainment.


Live-tweeting has its roots in the news media coverage of current events, one of the earliest examples being the CNN and Facebook’s joint “live-tweet” coverage[1] during inauguration of Barack Obama in January 2009.


Throughout 2009, a number of other “live-tweeting” sessions took underway, including Twitter CEO Evan Williams’ wife Sara Williams[2] giving birth to her baby and the world’s first live-tweeted surgery[3] at The Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, as well as a conversation between an Apple store employee and a prospective iPhone customer as overheard by Chris Brogan[4], one of the first eavesdropped live-tweets on record.

Notable Examples

In February 2010, a 27-year-old woman named Angie Jackson[5] live-tweeted her experience of going through an abortion procedure, which drew considerable amount of controversy.

On March 26th, 2011, comedian and cast member of Community Donald Glover[6] live-tweeted a couple apparently having sex in a Bank of America ATM booth in New York City.

On May 2nd, 2011, Pakistani IT specialist Sohaib Athar[7] unknowingly live-tweeted about a helicopter flying near his residence in Abbottabad, Pakistan, as the United States special forces prepared to raid the compound of Osama bin Laden, eventually receiving international attention for being “the guy who accidentally tweeted the raid.”

In September 2012, Arshile Dorky[8] (@hella_brad) live-tweeted his hallucinatory experience while tripping on LSD.

In April 2013, Ex-NFL star Chad Johnson[13] live-tweeted his day of hanging with a homeless man in Miami.

In November 2013, Brooklyn writer Kyle Ayers[14] live-tweeted a couple’s public breakup on his apartment rooftop.

Also in November, ABC producer Elan Gale[15] staged a live-tweet hoax involving a passive-aggressive encounter with a passenger while on a delayed flight on Thanksgiving Day.

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