The way the government communicates has completely changed. After lots of speculation and back-and-forth across the board, after an official announcement from President Obama on Tuesday that he had authorized airstrikes on ISIS in Iraq, the US military carried out airstrikes in Iraq. And to announce their actions, the Pentagon turned not to briefings or reporters, but to Twitter. From Press Secretary John Kirby:
US military aircraft conduct strike on ISIL artillery. Artillery was used against Kurdish forces defending Erbil, near US personnel.— Rear Adm. John Kirby (@PentagonPresSec) August 8, 2014
The tweet promptly went viral, because of course it did. Because this is how we share things today, how we disseminate information, how we get our news faster than ever before in history.
The Wall Street Journal rounded up a handful of other recent examples of political news breaking first on Twitter, rather than in emails to press or in official briefings. Welcome to the new normal.