In the vein of the Usenet thread, I've decided to look up forum posts about 9/11 as it happened. It's a much easier ordeal since, by 9/11, the Internet was already middle-aged, unlike Usenet in 1981. The Internet was officially born on 29 October, 1969. The first Usenet posts can be dated back to 11 May, 1981, but only because those are the ones we can find. No Internet archaeologist (Gordon Bennett, what a futuristic term) seriously believes that this was the first Usenet post; there were at least a couple dozen before then, possibly dating back to 1979. We just can't find them. World Wide Web got its start on 6 August, 1991. Just in time for the Soviet Union to get an internet domain, believe it or not.
Just a hair over a decade later, there came 9/11. Just... holy shit.
The internet as a system had been around for 32 years by then. Usenet archives went back 20 years. And the World Wide Web was 10 years old.
So certainly there were reactions to the atrocities online, right?
Well, yeah. There were. Part of me wants to say how frightening how relatable it is seeing these familiar looking posts, but 9/11 was only 16 years ago, so no wonder.
Anywho, here you go: the online world's reaction to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Forum posts, screenshots of online news articles, and the first crude, "Too Soon" 9/11 jokes immediately followed by absolutely blackened predictions that came true. History playing out online on a wide scale for the first time ever.