Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of Twitter and a native of St. Louis, has been marching alongside protesters angered by the killing of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer.
On Friday, Dorsey wrote, "Heading home to St. Louis" on his verified Twitter feed, and has followed with a crush of short videos shot from marches and news conferences held by Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol. The agency was brought in after local police used what have been denounced as aggressive tactics to control crowds.
Scenes of police in riot gear and clouds of tear gas have been all too frequent in Ferguson since Brown was gunned down Aug. 9, and Twitter has served as a live stream of the clashes between cops and civilians.
The hashtag #Ferguson has remained the top trend on Twitter for nearly the entire week, as a mixture of established print, television and digital reporters have used the website as a rolling notepad, chronicling developments both large and small through tweets, photographs and brief videos.
Twitter has seen more than 4 million tweets containing the hashtag #Ferguson in the last seven days, with more than 450,000 between Friday and Saturday evenings, according to Topsy.com, a website that provides data on social media trends. In one hour Saturday, about 23,000 tweets carried the hashtag.
Twitter has served as a haven for journalists in recent years, with reporters often breaking details of rapidly developing stories at 140 characters rather than waiting to publish longer articles online or in print, or to go on the air with them.
Although many stories have hijacked the attention of Twitter's 271 million monthly active users, few have dominated the website for as long as the clashes and civil unrest in Ferguson.
On Saturday night Dorsey was still tweeting videos that showed him out with marchers and also posted a picture of himself alongside St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, who has been in Ferguson for days and used Twitter to constantly update followers with scenes from the protests and conflicts with police.
Dorsey, who helped co-found and develop Twitter in 2006, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An email to a Twitter representative was also not immediately returned.
Follow @JamesQueallyLAT for breaking news