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News Link • Police State

Twitter Is The New Police Scanner

• Kelsey D. Atherton via

Since the mid-1970s, police scanners have been the only way for civilians to access real-time updates from police departments. Scanners work by flipping through multiple open radio conversations on emergency channels, providing an overall picture of a crisis from the people on the ground reacting to it. Because they offer fast and direct first-hand accounts, scanners have been invaluable for coordinating and linking emergency response.

But yesterday, the real-time updates from Boston came mainly through Twitter. In fact, the news broke on Twitter more than 10 minutes before national media began reporting on the explosions. This photo was tweeted just four minutes after the first bomb went off:
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