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The hope and horror of Oslo as told on YouTube and Twitter

There was little the rest of the world could do but sit back and watch in shock as the events in Oslo unfolded on the afternoon of 22 July. While we tried to digest the news of the bomb blast in central Oslo, news began filtering in of an even worse occurrence — a mass shooting at youth summer camp.

In the hours and days after the tragedy, we started to learn more about the twisted world of Anders Behring Breivik, the man who planned and carried out the attacks.

His online activity, from old postings on far-right forums, brand-new Facebook and Twitter accounts — presumably set up to be discovered after the attacks — to a 1 500-page online manifesto, was eagerly examined and dissected by the media.

Mike Butcher, the Editor of TechCrunch Europe, was correct when he tweeted: “…all tragedies now unfold via social media”. What happens a million miles away, across multiple time-zones, now feels as if it could be happening in your neighbour’s garden.

Twitter user Christian Aglen was one of the first to document the attack and bring the devastation in Oslo to the rest of the world.

Some users, using the primacy of video, were able to convey the horror and fear of what they were experiencing and feeling via on-the-ground updates and video-sharing sites such as YouTube:

  1. The silence shot through with ringing sirens in the immediate aftermath creates an eerie atmosphere.

  2. This citizen journalist describes what he’s witnessing and has just experienced.

  3. A clip capturing the destruction of the bombed-out building.

  4. The view from a building near to one that was bombed.

  5. An evacuee captures the confusion in the wake of the attack.

  6. Aerial shots of the youth camp after the shooting.

  7. A video of the rescue effort from the Utoya island where the youth camp was being held.

But in the face of the devastation, the resilience of the people of Oslo –- and prayers and messages of goodwill from millions the world over that flooded social networks — shone through.

In a speech, Prime Minister of Norway Jens Stoltenberg quoted from a memorial message written by a young girl: “With so much hate embodied in one individual, think about how much love we all have inside us.”

Or as a British twitter user put it:

Author | Mvelase Peppetta

Mvelase Peppetta
Mvelase is a Senior Account Manager at Irvine Bartlett one of the most sought after full service public relations companies in South Africa. Mvelase is passionate about all things digital and the social media landscape, particularly as it relates to the integration of digital public relations management within the traditional... More
  • I am worried a lot due to this incident. So sad news… I will pray for their soul.

  • Pingback: Turkish earthquake spreads across YouTube [Video] | memeburn()

  • You fail to mention on which platform this review is based? I’ve been playing it on the PS3 and I have to say that I don’t share the (fairly common, to be fair) criticism of the inventory and menus. I’m certain that it would be a complete pain to navigate with a mouse but, on a console, the design works brilliantly.

    I’ve also not found the load times to be quite as bad as you describe (although I suspect some poetic licence may be at play?).

    My single biggest gripe (now that the 1.2 patch has addressed the PS3 frame rate issue) has to be with broken quests. It’s massively annoying to not be able to finish the quest line for a faction. Sadly, I don’t think this is much of a patch priority (anyone remember the GOTY edition of Oblivion that still had the vampirism cure bug?).

    All in all though, brilliant game. There’s plenty to keep me busy until the community have found workarounds for the broken quests, so no real harm done.

  • Ronan Steyn

    Hi Mark,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I tested the PS3 version. The inventory is not difficult to navigate so much so, you can scroll down with ease, it is the information on the items that is lacking. There are no visual representations (the only thing to show you what is equipped is the small Skyrim symbol). Compared to Morrowind, for example, you had a full graphic of your character – you knew what was equipped and where it was on your body, and the information of that item was clear. I feel that Skyrim has taken two steps back, or as I said, rushed the menu system here. There is a lot of wasted screen space. I feel the same way with the skills/magic menu. However, this may come down to personal preference. 

    Yes the load times joke was taking some poetic licence, although I had a couple of occasions where the game literally took over 10 minutes to load, other times I had to reset my PS3 completely.

    I agree that the game is brilliant, and thanks for the info on the broken quests.

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