Famous last tweets captured for posterity

Feb 15, 2013
A picture taken on October 23, 2012 shows the screen of a blackberry phone on Twitter. A blog launched this week, thetweethereafter.com, captures some of those final 140-character comments as part of an unusual tribute to the newly departed.

Someone's famous last words are now likely to be famous last tweets.

A blog launched this week, thetweethereafter.com, captures some of those final 140-character comments as part of an unusual tribute to the newly departed.

"What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay," was the final message from Reeva Steenkamp, the model and girlfriend of South African Olympic star Oscar Pistorius, who was killed in a Valentine's Day shooting in which her boyfriend is charged.

Michael McWatters, a technology professional, said he had been collecting these with colleague Jamie Forrest, "not sure whether our project was something we really wanted to announce formally or not."

But he said the "grim tragedy" in South Africa prompted them to make the site public.

"In many of the tweets there you'll likely find no deep meaning. In others, however, lie fascinating, inspiring, frightening, and perhaps tragic insights," he said.

Caleb Moore, a snowmobile racer who died of injuries sustained in a crash during the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, said in his last twitter message, "Check out my fan page!" and provided a link to a Facebook site.

Aaron Swartz, the Internet freedom activist who committed suicide as he faced criminal prosecution, also wrote an innocuous message in his final tweet.

"Diehl, Rittenhouse, Patterson, Ross, Sims," he wrote in response to a question, "what are your top five US Mint directors?" during a discussion on #mintthecoin, a topic related to a potential trillion-dollar coin which could be minted to avoid a US budget crisis.

Spanish mountain biker Inaki Lejarreta, 29, wrote a somewhat more ominous last tweet before being fatally injured by a car: "Windy morning. It looks dangerous to do outside training, so I start with Gym and after that, we'll see."

Forrest said of the project, "As our lives become increasingly transparent on sites like Twitter and Facebook, we leave indelible marks on the Internet that can't be erased once we die."

He said the idea was sparked a year ago when "conservative blowhard Andrew Breitbart famously sent an apologetic tweet less than an hour before he died of a heart attack."

"The site is certainly morbid, sometimes interesting, quite often meaningless. But we hope it makes you think a little bit," Forrest said.

Explore further: UN moves to strengthen digital privacy (Update)

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Twitter sees new record during Euro 2012 final

Jul 02, 2012

(AP) — Twitter says its users fired off more than 15,000 tweets per second when Spain scored its fourth goal in Sunday's European Championship final, setting a sports-related record on the social networking ...

Twitter launches iPad application

Sep 02, 2010

Hot microblogging service Twitter launched an application for the Apple iPad on Thursday to rave reviews from technology blogs.

Recommended for you

UN moves to strengthen digital privacy (Update)

19 hours ago

The United Nations on Tuesday adopted a resolution on protecting digital privacy that for the first time urged governments to offer redress to citizens targeted by mass surveillance.

Spotify turns up volume as losses fall

20 hours ago

The world's biggest music streaming service, Spotify, announced Tuesday its revenue grew by 74 percent in 2013 while net losses shrank by one third, in a year of spectacular expansion.

Virtual money and user's identity

Nov 25, 2014

Bitcoin is the new money: minted and exchanged on the Internet. Faster and cheaper than a bank, the service is attracting attention from all over the world. But a big question remains: are the transactions ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.