Home > Microblogging, Web Communication > Twitter predicting the future in New York protests

Twitter predicting the future in New York protests

Paul Revere (@questlove) is the drummer of the house band called The Roots. Last Monday, the 21st of December, he posted on his Twitter that he had seen a thousand of police officers not far from where the Occupy Wall Street protesters were camping. The news was quickly spreaded by his 1,76 million followers by retweeting the original post and creating a hashtag: #ows. The controversial Tweet called the attention of lots of the protestants and let them know that the police officers would go to remove them from Zuccotti Park an hour and twenty minutes later. This was more than a conflict between police and protestants because it was all commented in Twitter even before it happened. Thus, it is an example of many others that shows the quick communication and effectiveness of  microblogging and social networks.

As we can see in his Twitter, Paul Revere wrote the Tweet at 11:38 p.m. on Monday.

  • @questlove Questo of The Roots: Omg, drivin down south st near #ows. Somethin bout to go down yo, swear I counted 1000 riot gear cops bout to pull sneak attack carefulyall Mon Nov 14 11:38:31 via Questo of The Roots.

Lots of his followers read this Tweet and the original post was retweeted so many times that the news arrived quickly to @occupywallstnyc, the protestants’ main account. This breakneck answer of the protestants is due to the fact that twitter is a really fast microblogging net according to Seo & Internet Marketing Services’  article:

Unlike other social networks like Facebook and My Space, Twitter is designed so that it can only be used as a SMS or a short message service.

In response to Revere’s Tweet, protestants posted a Tweet asking for a confirmation of the news. Paul Revere confirmed what he had seen by posting another Tweet and the news spreaded quickly to Zucotti Park. Consequently, everybody talked about the information Revere had given. The police officers arrived soon at Zucotti Park to remove the protestants and  lots of people tweeted the happening:

  • The Protestants:@OccupyWallStNYC #OCCUPYWALLSTREET #NYPD on bull horn telling campers that we must temporarily leave the park Tue Nov 15 6:07:12 via #OCCUPYWALLSTREET
  • The City Hall@NYCMayorsOffice NYC Mayor’s Office Occupants of Zuccotti should temporarily leave and remove tents and tarps. Protestors can return after the Park is cleared. #ows Tue Nov 15 1:19:23 via NYC Mayor’s Office
  • Paul Revere@questlove Questo of The Roots @OccupyWallStNYC wait. so i was right? #ows is being raided? told yall! tryna make me think i was crazy! i knew i saw what i saw.Tue Nov 15 1:03:35 via Questo of The Roots
  • The New York Police Department@NYPDnews NYPD NEWS NYPD has partnered with @newyorkcares to provide coats to those in need since ’89, contributed 48% of total collected in 2010. #CoatDrive11 Tue Nov 15 16:46:04 via NYPD NEWS

So, as we can see, all the parts involved in the conflict posted some Tweets in order to show their points of view or give information about the problem.

People protest through Twitter because they now have  a view of twitter being an invaluable and essential tool for democratic change.

Apart from that, we could say that Twitter posted the protestants’ movement from Wall Street an hour and a half before it happened, so it predicted what would happen. According to the article written by eyeonfda (April 6, 2011), Twitter is very fast:

 Twitter is often where news breaks first.  If you miss it, then your missed it. So, if you want to be fast, you will use Twitter, if you want to be slow, you won’t, but someone else will get there first.

  • Twitter:
  1. Protestants: https://twitter.com/#!/OccupyWallStNYC
  2. New York City Hall: https://twitter.com/#!/NYCMayorsOffice
  3. Paul Revere: https://twitter.com/#!/questlove
  4. The New York Police Department: https://twitter.com/#!/search/%40NYPDnews


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