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Balloon Boy Hits the Blawgosphere and Twitter

It did not take long for "balloon boy," aka Falcon Heene, to make his appearance in the legal blawgosphere. Here is a sampling:

  • Law and More asks here whether the shiny, flying, silver Jiffy Pop-looking craft tethered in the backyard of Richard Heene was an "attractive nuisance" under the law. It notes that it was certainly attractive enough for his son to have climbed into it, and asks: "When there are children in the household and in the neighborhood, who leaves a helium air balloon visible in the backyard?"
  • After young Falcon said in a television interview that he didn't come out of hiding when he heard his named being called because his family told him "we did this for the show" (watch below), comments broke out on many blogs as to whether the Heenes could be legally required to repay the sure-to-be astronomical search costs. Indeed, although local authorities maintain that they do not believe the incident was a hoax, they intend to interview the family again. The Larimer County Sheriff said today that "if it turns out to be a hoax ... certainly we would seek compensation" for the cost of the rescue efforts.

To me, the most effective and eye-opening coverage in the "balloon boy" episode was delivered through a simple "hashtag" on Twitter. Simply by following the real-time discussion on Twitter about the event that was trackable via the hashtag "#boyinballoon," I was able to have up-to-the-second reports on what was occurring. Twitter can truly be an amazing tool for learning about breaking news such as this.

Posted by Bruce Carton on October 16, 2009 at 02:06 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

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