Tweeting the Richardson Tragedy

After Natasha Richardson’s fatal accident Tuesday, tweets poured into the Twittersphere from around the world — at some points, 20 new Richardson-related tweets clocked in every minute. By her death Wednesday evening, her name was at the top of Twitter trends. The whole tragic event gave a perfect glimpse into the many functions of Twitter: […]

Last Updated: March 19, 2009 @ 9:47 AM

After Natasha Richardson’s fatal accident Tuesday, tweets poured into the Twittersphere from around the world — at some points, 20 new Richardson-related tweets clocked in every minute. By her death Wednesday evening, her name was at the top of Twitter trends. The whole tragic event gave a perfect glimpse into the many functions of Twitter:

First comes raw news (complete with typos):
 

Actress Natasha Richardson – wife of actor LIam Neeson – critically injured after a ski accident in Canada.

People search for more information and answers:
From what I can find, Natasha Richardson is still in critical condition. Nothing to indicate that she has passed. Story still in progress.

There’s confusion as conflicting accounts are tweeted…
All those reports on Natasha Richardson are so confusing. How many times has she been declared dead today? Sad … poor family.

….and some get annoyed with that inevitable mix of fact and erroneous information in the early stages of a story:

Cannot believe how much misinformation on Natasha Richardson is on the net. Please wait til you get the real facts.

Many, many tweets wish Richardson well:
Wishing Natasha Richardson a speedy recovery!!
 

Then Wednesday, tweets come fast and furious reporting her death and linking to news stories:
 

Natasha Richardson dies at age 45: After being taken off of life support and with her family at her side… http://tinyurl.com/ckztnk

Hundreds and hundreds of tweets from fans express grief and extend condolences to Richardson’s family:

so sad, natasha richardson passed away…

Natasha Richardson Has Died.. My Thoughts And Prayers Go To Her And Her Family
 

Many tweet simply:

RIP Natasha Richardson

Celebrities chime in, tweeting their shock and sadness too:

Demi Moore’s two tweets on Richardson are much re-tweeted.
   
Remember to tell the people around you that you love and appreciate them. Find one good thing in everyone and soar with gratitude!
   
I am sending out prayers for Natasha Richardson and her family. A real reminder of how precious life is and how quickly it can be gone.

Stephen Fry’s tweet was bracing:
Oh no. Natasha Richardson. Oh no. How terribly terribly sad.

mchammer got in line, too:

RT @gary1116 @MCHammer I’m very sad that Natasha Richardson passed away after the ‘minor’ skiing accident. Keep her family in your prayers.

 

Finally, many couldn’t resist the opportunity to warn people to wear helmets:


Natasha Richardson And Why Helmets Are Important http://tinyurl.com/c66ejy

As of early Thursday morning, Richardson-related tweets were still arriving by the dozen each minute.