• 06.26.09

Michael Jackson Invented Pop, Beat the Rap, Crashed Google

The news of Michael Jackson’s passing yesterday shocked the world, but perhaps none were as stunned as Google and Twitter. Upon rumors of the pop icon’s death in Los Angeles, fans flocked to the Web for confirmation, resulting in an avalanche of searches, Tweets, and page views that crashed Google and brought Twitter to a standstill as the number of Tweets per second doubled in an instant.

Michael Jackson twitter
Michael Jackson twitter

Meanwhile Twitter managed to remain online, but it might as well have crashed. According to Twitter analysis tool Twist, at one point yesterday afternoon 22.6% of messages posted to Twitter were related to the King of Pop’s passing as users barraged the site with questions and rumors, and later fond farewells. At one point, nine of the top ten topics on Twitter involved Jackson’s death. The surging volume caused the site to grind to a halt temporarily, and Twitter Search was reportedly running about twenty minutes behind real time. This is the same Twitter the U.S. State Department asked to remain functional last week so protesters in Iran would be able to communicate in the face of violent government crackdowns.

Michael Jackson google

The online fiasco is a fitting testament to Jackson’s legacy. His music reached every corner of the world, he gathered adoring crowds even outside of his own trials, and his name and face were as globally well-known as anyone of his era. He was beyond famous. Michael Jackson: He played the Berlin Wall. He invented Pop. He beat the rap. He crashed Google.

[via TechCrunch, The Sun, The Guardian]

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