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Twitter commotion over low hanging clouds on Burj Khalifa
The rumours surrounding the Burj Khalifa fire, is an excellent example of the detrimental effect instant and widespread connectivity that our social-media obsessed society is susceptible too.
February 12, 2012 4:39 by p.deleon
To slightly paraphrase Virgil: “Rumor, than which no evil flies more swiftly. She flourishes as she flies, gains strength by mere motion. Small at first and in fear, she soon rises to heaven, Walks upon land and hides her head in the clouds (or should we say the Burj Khalifa)…”
*Picture uploaded by Nora
Excuse our pretentious quote-but nothing could summarise the events of last night perhaps more clearly than when rumours of the Burj Khalifa on fire set Twitter, oh goodness we hate to even use this intended pun, alight. Spectators close to the Burj Khalifa spotted some unusually low hanging clouds by the world’s tallest building and took to Twitter to post pictures and tweets about a smoke at the Burj Khalifa. If for some reason you missed out on the frantic tweets ‘clouding’ (oh we are on a roll, today aren’t we?), here are some of the well informed gems floating about on Twitter:
Jheeze! The burj khalifa in Dubai is on fire.. madness
11:30 PM – 11 Feb 12 via Echofon
OHMYLANTA!!!!! How serious it is? “@ceeboshah: Fire @burj khalifa!!!!
11:31 PM – 11 Feb 12 via Twitter for iPhone
Bloody hell there’s a fire in Burj Khalifa…..
11:13 PM – 11 Feb 12 via Twitter for BlackBerry®
Now the rumours spread and perpetuated by trusty ol’ Twitter lead to ten fire trucks and a good number of ambulances-only to leave at midnight saying there was no fire-just some ‘low hanging clouds.’ I guess Dubai’s fog have a wicked sense of timing and placement.
After we got over some of the funny tweets—one tweet even suggested that the source of the commotion was a new feature at the Dubai Fountain—Kipp can’t help but be a little alarmed at the pace at which rumours spread in the age of Twitter. The rumours surrounding the Burj Khalifa fire, is an excellent example of the detrimental effect instant and widespread connectivity that our social-media obsessed society is susceptible too.
If there’s nothing else you can take from besides a good chuckle, hopefully it should also teach us a lesson in this age of citizen journalism: to always verify facts before spreading news. It is also a good lesson for organisations like the Dubai Police to be on media platforms like Twitter so they can address such rumours directly.