Moments after the death of Michael Jackson, the internet began to slow. The internet slowdown was happening as people all over the world rushed to verify news accounts of Michael Jacksons death. This surge of internet traffic had unusual effects including crashes and website server slowdowns.
Google confirmed on Friday that when the breaking news of the death first broke, Google feared they were under some sort of Denial of Service Attack – anyone who Googled for “Michael Jackson” got a Google error page rather than the results they were looking for. The Google Error message warned that “your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application”. This was especially so on Google News. But once confirmed the error message was removed and this only lasted 40 minutes.
The Google’s Trends system showed searches for “Michael Jackson” was so high that the “hotness” gauge the topic was rated as “volcanic”.
Other sites were equally affected with The BBC News website up over 45% in the early hours of the morning.
The Twitter microblogging service actually crashed with the volume of people sending Michael Jackson tweets. At one point 9 out of 10 tweets were only related to Michael Jackson, with over 66,000 Tweets for the late superstar.
Trendrr, (a Web service that tracks activity on social media sites), said that the actual number of Twitter posts on Thursday containing the search term “Michael Jackson” totaled more than 100,000 per hour.
Another site to suffer was the popular chat and celeb site, TMZ; this site actually broke the story following a tip-off, and this site also crashed. This caused a so called domino effect as web users abandoned crashed sites and moved on to second most popular sites…. as a result Perez Hilton’s website then crashed.
The O2 website, where Jackson was to perform on July 13th, also crashed for a short while.
Other stats include more than 20 times the average number of visitors logging onto Sky News Online.
This moment was one of the busiest moments in Internet history, both in terms of scope or depth.
As a result, sales of his music on iTunes and Amazon are topping the charts, as fans pay tribute to the memory of the pop superstar.
The Top Ten on Amazon at 21:45pm on Friday 26th June is as follows;
1. Michael Jackson 25th Anniversary of Thriller ~ Michael Jackson
2. Off the Wall ~ Michael Jackson
3. Bad ~ Michael Jackson
4. Michael Jackson: The Ultimate Collection ~ Michael Jackson
5. Number Ones ~ Michael Jackson
6. Dangerous ~ Michael Jackson
7. The Ultimate Collection ~ Jackson 5
8. The Essential Michael Jackson ~ Michael Jackson
9. Michael Jackson – Vol. 1-Greatest Hits History ~ Michael Jackson
10. Invincible ~ Michael Jackson