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The Biggest Twitter Stories of 2011

From Weinergate to TigerBlood, 2011 saw its fair share of 'Tweetable' moments. Here's a look back at the good, the bad – and the just plain ugly Twitter moments of 2011. By Katy Finneran

Using Twitter From Laptop

From Weinergate to #TigerBlood, 2011 saw its fair share of tweetable moments. Here's a look back at the good, the bad -- and the just plain ugly Twitter moments of 2011. Take it as further proof that whether a Tweet is up for 10 seconds or three years, those 140 characters can "follow" you for a lifetime.

Reuters

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False Tweets of Rep. Giffords' Death

On January 8, nineteen people were shot during a public meeting in Tucson, Arizona -- among them, Representative Gabrielle Giffords. Following the chaos, several news sources, including Reuters and NPRNews incorrectly Tweeted Giffords' wounds were fatal. 

Naturally, Tweeps spread the word through social media -- and false reports of the Congresswoman's death were made almost-instantly viral.

Twitter Stories of 2011 - TahrirSquareJan25Hashtag

#Jan25

According to Tech Crunch, a 21-year-old Egyptian with the Twitter handle @alya1989262 was the first person to Tweet using the hashtag #Jan25

Within hours, the hashtag became synonymous with the Egyptian uprising and emblematic of social media's capability for political mobilization.

Twitter Stories of 2011 - CharlieSheenTweets

Tiger Blood

March 1st, days after publicly slandering CBS, Charlie Sheen took to Twitter. Using catchprases such as "winnning" and "tiger blood" @CharlieSheen took the social media world by storm.

As Charlie Sheen live-Tweeted what appeared to semblance a mental breakdown of sorts, his (now-near six million) followers watched with equal intrigue, equal horror as another once-great celebrity appeared to self-implode.

Sheen claims to have since cleaned up his act and continues to manage his Twitter account.

AXMalibu/X17online.com

Twitter Stories of 2011 - BronxZoosCobraStillTweets

@BronxZoosCobra

2011 taught us humans aren't the only ones taking to Twitter -- turns out venomous snakes have a weakness for micro-blogging too. 

On March 24th, a cobra went missing from the Bronx Zoo, causing one (still anonymous) social media maven to seize the opportunity and create a fictitious @BronxZoosCobra account. Using the hashtag #SnakeOnTheTown, @BronxZoosCobra Tweeted everywhere from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to Wall Street, to the Hilton.

Seven days later the cobra was found in the zoo's reptile house -- but that hasn't stopped @BronxZoosCobra from Tweeting. 

Twitter Stories of 2011 - UsamaBinLadenAndLiveBlogger

The Man Who Live-Blogged Usama bin Laden's Death

On May 2nd, 33-year-old Pakistani Sohaib Athar went from being an IT consultant to a worldwide sensation as he unintentionally live-Tweeted the U.S. raid on Usama bin Laden's compound. 

Twitter Stories of 2011 - WeinerandTwitter

Weinergate

And what would a 2011 Twitter wrap-up be without Weinergate? On May 27, @RepWeiner accidentally Twitpic'd a lewd photo to all of his followers – including his wife, Huma Abedin! After days of denying accusations, Weiner finally owned up to the suggestive photo -- and ultimately resigned from Congress on June 21.

AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari

Twitter Stories of 2011 - Roger EbertTwitter

Ebert Gets a Thumbs-Down

On June 20, 34-year-old 'Jackass' star Ryan Dunn passed away in a car accident. The night before the tragedy, he posted of photo of himself drinking on tumblr. 

Following the news, Rogert Ebert (@EbertChicago) Tweeted "Friends don't let jackasses drink and drive."

Dunn's colleague, Bam Margera saw the Tweet as cruel and disrespectful saying, "I just lost my best friend, I have been crying hysterical for a full day and piece of sh** roger ebert has the gall to put in his 2 cents."

Ebert later issued an apology, explaining he never meant to make light of Dunn's death.

AP Photo/Chicago Sun-Times, Dom Najolia

Twitter Stories of 2011 - AshtonTwitterGaffe

@aplusk Twitter Foul

Ashton Kutcher -- or better known as @aplusk to his sem-odd nine million loyal followers, took to Twitter to denounce Penn State's firing of coach Joe Paterno. One tiny problem: @aplusk didn't have all the facts. 

Only after Tweeting: "How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass as a hawkeye fan I find it in poor taste" did Kutcher learn of child molestation allegatiosn against Paterno. 

Realizing his error, Kutcher apologized and took a Twitter vow of silence.

 

REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Twitter Stories of 2011 - KaseyKahneandTwitter

When 31-year-old NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne saw a mom breast feeding her baby at a grocery store December 27, he flocked to social media to express his disgust. 

Kahne Tweeted, "I don't feel like shopping or eating anymore."

Kahne's Tweets ignited the wrath of breast-feeding moms across the country. Eventually the NASCAR idol came around and apologized on Facebook.

AP Images / Cal Sports Media

The Biggest Twitter Stories of 2011

From Weinergate to TigerBlood, 2011 saw its fair share of 'Tweetable' moments. Here's a look back at the good, the bad – and the just plain ugly Twitter moments of 2011. By Katy Finneran

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