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How'd you find out about Osama bin Laden's death?

12:29 PM, May 3, 2011   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - How did you find out about Osama bin Laden's death?

Even before the news splashed across TV screens Sunday night, it was flashing on social media around the world.

Pictures: Osama Bin Laden dead

One of the first social media updates came from Keith Urbahn, chief of staff for former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, an hour before President Obama's address.

"So I'm told by a reputable person they have killed Osama bin Laden.  Hot damn," he wrote on Twitter.

After that, word spread like wildfire.

For almost 3 ½ hours Sunday night, from 10:45 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. eastern, Twitter averaged 3,000 tweets per second.  That's the second highest number of tweets ever.

In minutes, Osama bin Laden became the most searched-for term on online search engines.

According to Yahoo Shine, nearly one in five searches for Osama bin Laden were by teenagers and people under 24, many of whom grew up during the war on terrorism.

The social media explosion triggered flash mobs at Ground Zero and outside the White House

In the 9th inning at a Phillies Mets game, word spread from cell phone to Blackberry, and in minutes, the whole stadium was chanting "USA, USA, USA!"

"When major news breaks, people need a place to go," said Matt Polevoy of CBS Interactive.

"Facebook and Twitter is the place it is happening now."

Poll: Should Osama's death photos be released?

Janie Porter, 10 News

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