Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?

Tweeting During Extraordinary Events, Do We Share Too Much?

Tweeting during extraordinary events is the question today. The events that unfolded in Boston really made me wonder whether or not to tweet. I did not use the Buffer or Triberr during those tense 24+ hours. It just did not seem important with what was going on around us. The same can be said for all types of social media. How much should we be sharing when the bad guys may be following our shares and movements? Many tweeted to each other to calm one another down or to share information.


This tweet really said it all:



Tweeting Important Tweets?

There were other informative tweets that were important to share and to be seen. What if everyone kept their buffers and triberr settings going and took down the system? Remember the fail whale? Not a good time to see that and thankfully we did not that day. But these important tweets are great to share during extraordinary times. You never know who just got up and glanced at their smartphone or computer. They may need the information before they start their day.





Tweeting Wonderful Tweets?

These were great tweets to share after the events unfolded. And the images on Twitter really are looking great. They have really come a long way with the pictures and Twitter cards.




This probably won’t be the last time we will experience something extraordinary before our eyes via social media. During weather events sharing is really important. It can help others to safety. But during terrorism events, how much should we reveal about our whereabouts and police activity? It’s really a fine line and a gray area. What we tweet could mean the difference between life and death.

SO, do you tweet more or less during extraordinary circumstances? What about on Facebook?

I’d love to hear your take on tweeting anad sharing on social media during extraordinary events like those from last week.

Lisa loves helping others to thrive online through Content Marketing with Social Media, Blogging and SEO. What good is knowledge if you cannot share it with others? She has 20+ years experience in marketing/advertising with 6 years experience in content marketing, social media, blogging and SEO. Check out her latest eBook "Learn to Tweet and Thrive on Twitter" now on Amazon.

60 comments On Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?

  • I do tend to tweet out a lot during events going on, for me specifically, it’s usually Apple events such as the WWDC. I find out that these are the type of times my Twitter followers number seems to grow the most, because so many people are searching for terms related to these events, wanting to stay updated.

    One good way to prevent annoying your current Twitter followers is by letting them know ahead of time that you’re planning on Tweeting a lot, so they can hide your tweets temporarily.
    James McAllister recently posted..How Safe Is Your iPhone From Malware?My Profile

  • thanks for this insightful post, Lisa. lots of great examples. during the horror in Boston, i didn’t feel like words could adequately express how i felt and i actually DID pause my pre-set posts for a couple days, and just shared what i thought might be helpful in consideration of all those affected around the U.S. Make it a beautiful day and week! 😎

  • I tweeted a bunch; it was unbelievable. Course I wasn’t in Boston but I can’t believe I would have done anything much different than I did. Truthfully, I wish Twitter was around back on 9/11/01 because it would have been great getting information from people on the ground who were able to talk or just to hear from anyone in that area, and be able to share as much as possible with the world.

    At a certain point early on that Monday though I started to feel as though a lot of truth was missing and it was turning into a lot of speculation. That’s when I shut it down & went back to my norm, and it wasn’t until Thursday that I got back into things. There’s just no way we’ll ever be able to bottle that genie back up when things like this happen, and truthfully we don’t want to. Look at all the good that’s come from it for other disastrous events. Some people have been saved because of this type of communication; I’ll take the good that comes with the bad any day of the week.
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  • Fantastic post, as always, Lisa (and thanks for including me – I’m honored!). Social media has proven to be both a help and hinder during times like this. It’s a shame that people feel it necessary to share info that either isn’t confirmed or is simply not true. It’s also a terrible fact that some will take advantage of horrible situations like this to profit for themselves. I refuse to let the negative side of social media take away all the good it does. It connects people, it serves as a source of breaking news, and yes, it can help in times of crisis in so many ways. The good side of social media far outweighs the bad, but I think it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on in the world while you’re tweeting or scheduling tweets. Otherwise you might end up like those pretty famous people who were raked over the coals (yes in social media!) for not have automated tweets in a time of crisis.

    • Thanks Nancy and you were (and always are) a great example of what to tweet during a crisis. I believe the good outweigh the bad on social media. I took my tweets out of the buffer and stopped using Triberr once I heard the the news that morning. It just didn’t seem right to be tweeting other stuff with that going on. I think because we were so close to the events too it impacted us more than others from other countries, etc. It’s been very interesting to see the various comments on the subject. Thanks for your input on this Nancy and hope you are enjoying the beautiful weather this weekend around RI. 🙂
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  • I think in events like what happened during the Boston bombing, it is important not to tweet out information which are not reliable enough so that people will not be mislead and confused with what is really happening. Let us leave that work out to the authorities.
    Jeremy Norton recently posted..Business to Business Marketing StrategiesMy Profile

  • As soon as I saw the title of the post I thought about that boston incident.

    Well in some cases social media is really faster then the normal media.

    Just have to see that we are not getting into rumors.
    Keral Patel recently posted..Create/Design your own Custom CMSMy Profile

  • Lisa – I am back trying to put in my comment here. Hope it goes through 🙂

    I was glued to my television and internet through those 24hrs of intense police activities trying to catch the culprit. Boston PD did a great job of getting him alive in such a short time.

    I refrained from sharing anything about the event on any of the social media, just like you, i wasnt sure whether it was really called for during such a time. I saw many other tweets and shares about it, most of them were duplicated, some I did follow through to read, but never really felt a need as long as you are following the event closely.

    Nice thoughts shared here 🙂
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    • Hi Praveen, yes it was a Hostgator issue after all. Many blogs were having issues with their comment systems. Thanks for letting me know. Me too, first time I had watched a.m news in a long time along with Twitter. I did retweet a few things since I’m within 50 miles to let others know of busses not running and the such. It was amazing how many tweets were coming in per second using the hashtags to follow it. Thanks for your input on it Praveen.
      Lisa recently posted..Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?My Profile

  • Hi Lisa,

    Very interesting point you’re bringing out here.

    I personally don’t ever tweet event such as this, because I know that with my so limited time on social media someone would have done that way before I would.

    There are definitely things good to share and some that shouldn’t be shared at all. I like that you’re pointing this out here.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..How To Read Like A Writer To Improve Your Writing SkillsMy Profile

  • Hey Lisa,
    I think we should be concerned more about the content of the Tweet. Tweeting to leak out some secret material is what I decry. During such tensed moment, we just have to fold up and be careful
    Enstine Muki recently posted..How Affiliate Product Reviews are Hurting your Blog and ReputationMy Profile

  • You are much nicer than I felt. I wanted to wring necks for business as usual.
    I tweeted less and only that which was verified to be accurate as possible. I read a lot. I did report to up date on a social site where business went on as usual.
    Malika bourne recently posted..Will You Give Up Eating Chocolate Harvested by Slaves?My Profile

    • Hi Malika, well social media is still a new form of communication for some. And some businesses may have had automated shares that they did not know how to stop – maybe? But I agree it’s hard for business as usual during events like that. Not the time to be selling your products or services, it can wait for a few hours for the situation to get under control, right?
      Lisa recently posted..Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?My Profile

  • Being the spouse of a military member, I am always worried about the information that is shared especially when people visit bases and locations of our troops. I know on several occassions that military folks have been put in some very sticky situations including a recent incident at my spouse’s current location. I sometimes think that it puts them in danger not that it was the person intent. Or the information that was provided was not shared correctly through the innocence of not really knowing the military life and work style. I think when major events are on folding it is good to share some information while others might hender the jobs of the law enforcements.
    Cynthia recently posted..What your finances are saying about your marriageMy Profile

    • Hi Cynthia, yes that must be quite scary. I’m glad you came by and commented with your husband being in the military. Please thank him for the service he provides us. It’s the most important job there can be. I bet it sure changes how they do some operations too from years prior before social media was prelevant. Thanks again for your valuable input to this topic.
      Lisa recently posted..Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?My Profile

  • Hi Lisa,

    This is really interesting.

    I won’t tweet anything related to the events myself because I am usually not the first one to hear or see the news. I am always a bit behind when it comes to the news. lol. But I would say depends on the situation and what needs to be tweeted. As bloggers and business owners using the social media sites we know that anything spreads like wildfire and very fast that you can’t accommodate later. I think as social media users, we should discern between what is helpful and what is not and then we can tweet it after verifying that the information is from a trusted source and no rumors.

    Thanks Lisa for bringing this topic up for discussion. Very interesting.

    Be Blessed,


    • Hi Neamat. I’m a big news buff so I’m always seeing what’s new around the world especially in times like these. I agree, discern between helpful tweets and shares or not. And be careful of the unverified info too. It’s too bad some crazy stuff gets spread via Twitter and those that don’t use it think less of Twitter. It’s still my favorite social networking site to date. Thanks Neamat for coming by and commenting on this important topic. Enjoy the rest of your week.
      Lisa recently posted..Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?My Profile

  • It’s an important question, with a lot of shades of gray. I think anyone on the internet, especially those who claim to be sharing important information, should be able to verify their source, and should think hard about whether the information they share could do more harm than good.
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  • Hi Lisa

    I agree with many people here in that common sense should prevail.

    Depending on the circumstance of the event, a Tweet or a Facebook update could be a massive help or an almighty hindrance.

    I think if it were to let people know to avoid a certain are of the city, then that’s really helpful.

    As Mayura said though, social media can really whip up rumours so you also have to treat what you read on Twitter in these events with a pinch of salt I’d say.
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  • Hi Lisa , this is a serious issue raised by you and in many cases social media has been blamed for things going wrong. I believe that social media has a role to play and it is the responsibility of citizens to decide what to share. The administration also has a role to play in such events to ensure that social media news does not harm someone.

  • I never tweet during extra ordinary events. I don`t why but I personally don`t use social networking sites to share my personal feelings.
    I use it for my business. And I see good at my decision.

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    • Hi Khaja, I didn’t mean really personal feelings but a lot of businesses would offer their thoughts to the victims of the event or people of Boston. They would not just ignore it. I’m finding it fascinating on how everyone has different reactions to it. Did you also keep your automated tweets going? I didn’t see it fit to have my business tweets going for products, etc. but maybe because I’m within a 50 mile radius of the events too. Thanks for your input Khaja.
      Lisa recently posted..Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?My Profile

  • I have never tweeted during extraordinary events, but I have followed others (and especially hashtags) to follow the events. I didn’t follow the terror in Boston, other than in the newspapers and on TV. I probably wouldn’t tweet myself, but I understand that people are doing it if it is to help find the terrorists, or to help people in need.
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  • I am probably the only person not glued to Twitter or Facebook about this and I’ll tell you why.

    It’s not that I wasn’t concerned but thank goodness I live in Texas too far away from anything going on in Boston. I cried for the people who lost their lives and for those who were horribly injured. I will not be a part of sharing information since like you mentioned, people can get their hands on the wrong stuff and others can be hurt by that. I had heard they released one guy’s photo and it was the wrong guy. Can you even imagine! I’m leaving that to the authorities thank you very much. That’s not my place girl.

    I continued my work and did what I needed to do, checking in periodically to see if they knew anything at all but I refuse to let events like that run my life. Besides pray for all those involved it was totally out of my hands. I feel that all parties involved had things under control.

    These types of events are important and life changing. Just a few days later we had the fertilizer plant blow up here near Waco killing 2 people, injuring over a dozen and evacuating over 2,600 people. It was horrible but all I can really do Lisa is pray for all those involved. It’s out of my hands.

    God, I hope nothing like this ever happens again but I have a feeling that’s not going to be the case.

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    • Hi Adrienne, interesting. If it were in your neighborhood or area, would you tweet about it? In some cases it can help to save lives. Even authorities were keeping on eye on Twitter. Did you keep your automated tweets going too? It’s interesting to hear from folks all over the country and world on this event and it seems more of a local thing to many. I heard about that fire and wonder if it was an accident or not. I think you are right they will be other events in the future like this. Thanks for your take on it Adrienne.
      Lisa recently posted..Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?My Profile

  • I tweeted because I actually got most of my information about the events from social media. The news said one thing but twitter was more up to date than the actual news. I said a few things on the events of last week but that’s about it. I think its the way of the world people will tweet everywhere if phones were allowed.
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  • Hi Lisa,

    Because of the sensitivity of the Boston Bombing there were many people out there with the wrong information. I seen it when it first happened and tweeted from the “Boston Globe”

    I kept away from a lot of the up coming news all over social media because I didn’t know if it was true or not. Even the media was speculating. I didn’t want to send tweets out like that.

    However, hashtaged a prayer group for this and tweeted that. I wanted to keep things positive.

    But after the fact, I must say the greatest speech I witnessed as I watched the baseball game live was David Ortiz’s short and to the point speech! lol!

    It’s great to keep up with trending issues, as long as they are true events.

    Thanks for bringing this topic up,
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  • I’m torn on the Tweet or not to Tweet however, I wasn’t directly involved in the tragic events so I had no valuable tweets to add. I laid low and watched all the events unfold on the news. Once the younger boys name was released and that he had a twitter account, I read it. I also read the abundance of tweets that were @mentioned to him which could have blew twitters servers up. It interesting on people’s different takes on this. In the case of weather related events such as tornado’s, hurricanes, etc., which I experienced first hand, tweeting came in handy. It helped calm some tweeps as well as let others know they were safe. I think it’s just one of those things, pertaining to terrorism, you don’t want to release too much info to the public but then, who’s to know what’s too much?

    Great post Lisa

    • Hi Bren, I laid low as well. That was chilling to read, wasn’t it? Weather is different and it’s more helpful to tweet out stuff from the Weather Channel etc to warn others and let others you know that you are okay as well. I think giving out locations during the terrorism search may have been too much. I can’t imagine how 9/11 would have been if Twitter and/or Facebook were around then. Thanks for coming by Bren and commenting on this subject.
      Lisa recently posted..Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?My Profile

  • Hi Lisa,

    At first when I see your title, I thought it’s about tweet seats again 😉

    I agree with Corina that some rumors can be a real pain as Social Media helps ’em to spread faster than any other media. The integrity needs to be assured. But mostly I can see Social Media has been haunted by gossips all over.

    Excellent point being discussed here. I’m sure we don’t think of the risk much if we don’t know how our tweets can help bad guys 🙂 Sometimes we just tweet out to help someone, but it can turns into a help for some bad folks. The tweet of Nancy, is a wonderful example to show how Social Media can help during such terrible events. I can see you have gone through the research very well with the help of Twitter 😉

    I can remember the days of storm and how Social Media helped that time too Lisa 🙂 I think it’s not about the situation but what information we share public, isn’t it? Need to be careful as everyone’s watching us though we feel alone.

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    • Hi Mayura, yes Nancy’s tweet was a great example of what should be done during times like these. Yes and the storms are different, I don’t think Mother nature is watching our tweets or shares to decide where to hit next 🙂 Rumors can fly too but some come true and others of course are not. Do you have many from your country tweeting during storms Mayura?
      Lisa recently posted..Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?My Profile

  • Yeah, the issue is quite controversial. There are many points of view – to tweet or not to tweet. As for me, i think it is information and we have to know this information how bad it is… So I’m for tweeting! Thanks for starting such an important discussion.
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  • You bring up a great point. I watched TV news while on Twitter during the lead up to the arrest of Suspect #2. Twitter was always one-step ahead of the networks. At one point, someone tweeted a link with the police radio transmission. Considering what Geraldo did years ago — showing a Google Maps location of troops in Iraq or Afghanistan — providing “too much information” to the public will always be a potential problem.

    For me, social media provided a sense of community during such a horrific time.

    • Hi Lauren, same here. I had both on together in the morning and I hadn’t watched morning news in a long time. Yes Twitter was ahead and some of the rumors became truth too. Some were not. I was concerned about that too much information being posted at times like that. Did you keep your Triberr or Buffer going Lauren?
      Lisa recently posted..Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?My Profile

      • It’s working! Thanks!!!

        I didn’t follow Triberr or Buffer during the man hunt. I was glued to Twitter.

        As matter of fact, just recently visited Triberr and saw all the changes. I had to update my feed again. It wasn’t working because of the site upgrade.
        Lauren recently posted..Broken News in Boston!My Profile

  • Great topic, Lisa. I think in situations such as the one this past week, editing ourselves is more important than ever. With emotions so high, and tensions higher than that, those THINK questions (Is this True? Is this Helpful? Is this Inspiring/Informational? Is this Necessary? Is this Kind?) come to bear. It was taken to another level, of course, with Friday’s events in Watertown: public safety was at stake, as you pointed out.
    I think, in general, common sense should always be kept in consideration. In the context of an emergency, common sense has to prevail.

  • HI Lisa,

    I’d say it is more related to the situation and also what really needs to be tweeted, I won’t consider tweeting the name of the accused and his whereabouts but surely about the area which has been cordoned off by the police and that would help others to avoid inconvenience but that too an authenticated information and no rumours.

    Thanks for this share. Have a great week ahead.

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  • Hi Lisa,

    Interesting point of discussion. 🙂

    I think the whole world heard and saw the terrorism at Boston, though some might have heard of it a little earlier than the rest. I guess our geographical location has a lot to do with it, and so does the fact about how much of such events really bother us. For some, it might be just another terrorist attack like the so many that keep taking place daily, and they might really not be bothered much about such daily events that keep happening all over the globe and carry on their work. While for others, they might restrict all their activities and stay glued to the television and news for the latest updates or be in prayer. I think a lot depends from one person to another.

    I did tweet , buffer, and was on Triberr too for a while till I heard the news, but on such events even the activities tend to lessen down on the social media, so there are fewer posts I think, which slows down things, which I feel is good in a way too.

    Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..Understanding the Power of BeliefMy Profile

    • Hi Harleena, yes, geographical location does have an impact as well. Yes, it sure did slow it down here. And who could not watch to see what was happening before our eyes? I learned of it first on Twitter and then had to turn on the TV news since it was within 50 miles of me. I hadn’t watched a.m. news in a long time. Thanks Harleena for coming by on this one, Enjoy the rest of your day too.
      Lisa recently posted..Tweeting During Extraordinary Events – A Yes or a No?My Profile

  • Hi Lisa.

    I saw something in the news about menacing tweets and updates. Apparently there were some tweets sent over what people heard in the news that were not true. In one case, when the first gun fight took out the older brother, something aired about the bad guys that prompted someone to tweet “one guy dead, one on the ground at gunpoint” and we know that didn’t happen.

    So not only should we not tweet because the bad guys might read it or someone may be helping them but we should make sure we got the story right before posting anything.

    I do love reading the prayers, well wishes, and quotes but I’ll stick to the news to get the facts, no offense my beautiful online peeps 🙂

    I couldn’t concentrate on work either, who could right?

    Have a great day Lisa!
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