By Elizabeth Chuck, msnbc.com
Heads up: Your Twitter timeline might be a bit overwhelming today.
Last night, traffic on the site spiked to more than 4,000 tweets per second during President Obama’s speech announcing the death of Osama bin Laden, according to Twitter’s official PR account. “9/11 widow on my flight. In tears. Comforted by entire cabin. Life altering event to see,” read one of those tweets. Meanwhile, on the ground, there were Twitpics of passengers in the baggage claim area of JFK glued to the TV while Obama spoke and FDNY firefighters celebrating in Times Square; word being spread of spontaneous gatherings all over the country; and – of course – Photoshopped tributes to mark the occasion (please refer to this image of of Lady Liberty gripping bin Laden’s severed head and this one of Obama riding a unicorn while rainbows emanate from his hands).
But Obama isn’t the only one getting credit. “Let's all take this time to thank the one person who no doubt was behind the killing of Osama bin Laden: Jack Bauer,” tweeted one person. The fictional “24” hero quickly rose to a trending topic on Twitter. Other accolades included “Nice job with the whole Osama thing” and one woman first professing her love to Mr. Bauer, followed by “We couldn’t have done it without” him.
Uh… Kidding, right? We’ll just assume she’s taking that joke really far.
The celebration extended beyond bin Laden’s death: “Well, at least this’ll put an end to f’in Royal Wedding talk,” said one person. “A prince gets married, the bad guy is dead. It’s a real Disney weekend here on earth,” posted another.
Then there’s the man who lives in the Pakistani town where Osama was killed who accidentally tweeted the news after hearing a loud bang: “Uh oh, now I’m the guy who liveblogged the Osama raid without knowing it,” @ReallyVirtual later tweeted. Hours - and apparently multiple media inquiries – later, he tweeted, “Bin Laden is dead. I didn’t kill him. Please let me sleep now.”
And what live event would be complete without a little snark? Viewers and readers everywhere were more than happy to point out which news organizations confused "Osama" and "Obama" in their headlines - and which sites just made typos, period (Fox News "Confriming that Usama Bin Landen" is dead still gets the message across, don't you agree?).
For a timeline of how it all unfolded on Twitter, click here.
For moments when you need the Internet equivalent of a pinch to make sure you're not dreaming, click on IsOsamaBinLadenDead.com.