News Of Jackson's Death Nearly Breaks Internet

DeathTwitter, Inc.Michael JacksonBiz StoneWPIXCNN (tv network)

The untimely death of pop icon Michael Jackson will most likely go down as one of the most captivating stories of this decade. The story not only hit a chord with his millions of fans across the globe, but nearly broke the internet.

When news of his passing broke Thursday, it sparked a massive response from web users who logged onto the internet to get the latest information on his death. The increase in online traffic caused many major websites to be inaccessible for several minutes.

TMZ.com, who broke the story, experienced several outages, while the celebrity gossip blog PerezHilton.com could not handle the overflow of the visitors to the website and temporarily shut down.

Jackson, who's known to do everything on a big scale, did not disappoint when he unexpectedly died prompting an incredible surge in traffic for several sites across the board.

CNN reported a 500% rise in traffic to its website in just over an hour, receiving 20 million page views alone in the hour the story broke.

Many visitors to Twitter received error messages as they tried to login. The site's status blog said that Twitter had to temporarily disable its search results, saved searches and trend topics.

On Twitter, the amount of Michael Jackson-related error messages peaked up to 5,000 per minute and put such a demand on the site that it slowed down considerably.

"We saw an instant doubling of tweets per second the moment the story broke," Twitter co-founder Biz Stone told the Los Angeles Times. "This particular news about the passing of such a global icon is the biggest jump in tweets per second since the U.S. presidential election."

Wikipedia also saw a flurry of activity, with close to 500 edits made to Jackson's entry in less than 24 hours.

By Friday morning, news sites seemed to be coping with traffic but Jackson fan site mjfanclub.net was still performing very slowly. Mashable.com reported, that tributes to, and remarks upon, Michael Jackson's death were responsible for 30 percent of tweets.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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