Twitter users 'thought Titanic disaster was just a film plot'
It may have been one of the most iconic disasters of the twentieth century but it appears that some Twitter users are only now waking up to the fact that the sinking of the Titanic was not just the plot of a blockbuster film.
While subscribers to the microblogging site may be kept constantly up to date with the latest news and gossip, it is appears that some are less than familiar with the major events of the more distant past.
The sinking of the White Star liner with the loss of 1,500 lives in 1912 stunned the world and became a byword for tragedy.
But it appears that it has become so enmeshed in popular culture - particularly with the recently re-released film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet - that some were not aware of the historical reality.
Some of those admitting their lack of knowledge were soon deluged with unpleasant tweets in response.
One user wrote: "Is it bad that I didn't know the titanic was real? Always thought it was just a film". Among the less insulting replies were "you're kidding, right?" and "Yes, it's pretty bad I'm afraid."
Another Twitter user, who posted the message "only just found out titanic was real", was one of a number to have since disappeared from the site.
One of those was a user who wrote: "The titanic was real holly s*** im never gooing on a cruise".
A teenage Twitter user who wrote "I didn't know Titanic actually happened, thought it was just a film" later tweeted again to ask people to stop sending her "nasty comments" after she was labelled "retarded and stupid".
Commemorations have been taking place this week to mark the centenary of the disaster, including a ceremony in Southampton on Monday that took place 100 years to the day after the ship set sail from the city's docks.
The anniversary is also being marked by the 3D version of James Cameron's blockbuster Titanic film - originally released in 1997 - and a memorial cruise retracing the ship's route that has already endured delays due to a bad weather and a passenger's suspected heart attack.
There has been discomfort over some of the events, with one academic accusing the city of Belfast - where the ship was built and launched - of cashing in by holding a three-week festival and MTV pop concert.