/// A Norwegian National Tragedy That Unfolded on the Web

July 22, 2011  |  All Things Digital

What’s being described as the most violent day in Norway since the Second World War unfolded today for so many via social media. Having seen early reports concerning an afternoon bombing attack outside government offices in Oslo, I sought out news outlets such as local broadcaster NRK to see if any live footage was coming from the scene. There was, and though I don’t speak a word of Norwegian, I was able to piece together a narrative showing Norway suffering through its own 9/11 moment. There were even very early reports that some Muslim men who had been under surveillance had been arrested in connection with the blast. The video below was taken in the immediate aftermath of the blast. Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, unhurt in the bombing, was at one point said to be at an undisclosed location. If his name sounds familiar it’s because he was the Prime Minister who last year was stranded in New York by the erupting Icelandic volcano, and took to governing his country using an iPad . Security around the royal family was boosted. Government officials appealed to local residents via Twitter to refrain from using wireless phone networks so as not to overwhelm them. With several people trapped in damaged buildings, locals in the area were also asked to unlock their Wi-Fi routers to allow those trapped to communicate and bypass the cellular networks. But it was on the site of another Norwegian broadcaster, TV2 , that I saw the first early reports of a shooting on the island of Utøya. The headlines, many relayed by people in the country on Twitter, quickly worsened. The story that emerged from Utøya was doubly disturbing. A man dressed as a police officer arrived on the island armed with an automatic rifle, gathered together young people attending a political event taking place on the island, ostensibly to tell them about the bombing in the city. Instead he opened fire. People scattered. Some headed for the water to try and escape by swimming to the mainland. Others tried to hide and some used their phones to send Twitter and text messages calling for help

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A Norwegian National Tragedy That Unfolded on the Web

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