Mandela's Death Coincides With Royal Date Night, Twitter Implodes

In a world where news comes as fast as your Internet connection, and breaking stories are first announced on Twitter, confusion is bound to happen. On Thursday, news of Nelson Mandela's death unfortunately coincided with the London premiere of a new movie about the legendary South African leader -- "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." On Twitter, the rumors of his passing, which turned out to be true just minutes later, became interwoven with the discussion of Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton's red carpet outfit, creating a jarring dissonance. 

Here are some examples:

Vanity Fair's Royal Hairdo Watch didn't get the memo:

While the world turned to Johannesburg, People magazine kept a close eye on the Royal Date Night. 

Some Twitter users just embraced the coincidence:



The Amazing, Inspiring, Tactless Ways Twitter Reacted to #Mandela's Death

South African President Jacob Zuma announced on Thursday night the death of Nelson Mandela. He was 95.

"Our nation has lost its greatest son," Zuma said in announcing Mandela's death on South African television. The iconic leader of the country's struggle against racism and its first post-apartheid president, Mandela died after a long battle with lung disease, an aftereffect of the tuberculosis he contracted during his 27-year imprisonment.

While Mandela's health has been in decline during the past several months, his death on Thursday nonetheless came as a shock and sparked an outpouring of grief.

Here's how Twitter reacted to his death:













To get a sense of just how signficant an event this is to South Africa, consider these tweets from Lydia Polgreen, the New York Times bureau chief in Johannesburg.



Then there were those who will probably be regretting their tweets tomorrow:

From Brittany Storoz, an interactive developer at the New York Times:




An earlier version of this post included a fake tweet attributed to the heiress Paris Hilton. Here are her actual tweets from Thursday night: