Facebook, Twitter top list of weird stories in 2009

Tue Dec 29, 2009 11:20am EST
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By Erik Kirschbaum

BERLIN (Reuters) - From the German town that unwittingly advertised pornography on its website to the American who interrupted his wedding to update his Facebook and Twitter accounts, the world was full of weird stories in 2009.

"Standing at the alter with @TracyPage where just a second ago she became my wife! Gotta go, time to kiss the bride" is how Dana Hanna kept the world posted between "I do" and that kiss.

Cartoon character Marge Simpson made it on the cover of Playboy magazine, two White House gate-crashers celebrated their triumph on Facebook, and the world was fooled into believing a 6-year-old boy was caught in a runaway home-made helium balloon.

Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube proved fertile ground for many of the bizarre stories.

British physicians were advised to ignore amorous advances from patients after some were propositioned on Facebook, Dutch lawmakers were told off for tweeting in parliament and in Canada an MP had to apologize for insulting a rival on Twitter.

In New York, five "restroom ambassadors" got jobs tweeting from the toilets at Times Square: greeting tourists and shoppers -- and then sending short dispatches on their encounters.

Britain's High Court ordered its first injunction via Twitter to stop an anonymous Tweeter impersonating someone else.

The U.N.'s World Food Programme sent text messages to Iraqi refugees in Syria so they could redeem the virtual vouchers for fresh food in local shops. A U.S. survey found that one in five drivers read or sent text messages from behind the wheel.   Continued...

<p>A Twitter page is displayed on a laptop computer in Los Angeles October 13, 2009. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>