How Michael Jackson’s death affected the Internet

June 27, 2009

How Michael Jackson's death affected the InternetMichael Jackson’s death was both sudden and unexpected. It has also prompted an amount of grief I personally haven’t witnessed since Princes Diana died in 1997. As well as affecting his family, fans, and people of all walks of life around the world, his death, and the breaking story surrounding it, has also affected the Internet to a massive degree.

Traditional media was well and truly beaten on this one. The celebrity gossip Web site, TMZ, broke the story that Michael Jackson had died hours before the more cautious and steady media outlets added their weight to the news.

The Web was the resource most of us turned to for news on the story, whether through sites such as TMZ and Perez Hilton, or social networks such as MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter. While we may tend to believe long-running sources such as The L.A. Times and the BBC more than tabloid Web sites, speed and timing were key in this case.

Google has today announced that the rise in searches for Michael Jackson actually caused Google News to react as if it were being attacked. Searches for Michael Jackson started to increase at 2:00pm PDT, peaked at around 3:00pm, and didn’t settle again until 8:00pm. This caused a Google News outage for around 25 minutes, with many people seeing a “We’re sorry” message.

Beyond the initial searches for news and reactions flooding in, the Internet has seen further peaks which are likely to last for weeks or months to come.

TorrentFreak reports that downloads of Michael Jackson albums via the world’s largest torrent tracker, Mininova, have increased by a massive amount as people feel the need to connect once again with his music. The most popular torrent is one containing 30 albums by Michael Jackson, The Jackson 5, and The Jacksons, which totals 1.94 GB of music.

People aren’t just turning to less than legal channels however, with Amazon’s bestsellers chart being dominated by Michael Jackson albums. At the time of writing, the top 16 places are taken up by albums produced by The King Of Pop. While the prices of these same albums, and other merchandise, has risen sharply in line with demand.

The Internet has dominated this continuing news story of Michael Jackson’s death. It broke on the Web, and is being discussed on forums. There are text, photo, and video tributes being made all across the Internet. And his lasting legacy to the world, his music, is being sold and downloaded in huge numbers on the Net.

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7 Responses to “How Michael Jackson’s death affected the Internet”

  1. Marcia Manzello:

    Michael Jackson was the living embodiment of identity crises.
    He turned his back and struggled with his own blackness.
    The troubled soul surpassed his talent, and as time went by, he got whiter and weirder.
    He was nicknamed Jacko Wacko. But now that he is dead, he became the must wonderful human being dat ever lived in the face of earth.
    Around the African American community, the sentiment seemed to be that Jackson lived at the poles of black pride and insecurity.
    It was said at several beauty salons, and barbershops around the city yesterday… “We always get compliments for aging well.’
    He claimed to have a skin condition called vitiligo.
    Although, his face itself told the story of a torn soul.
    He underwent to a series of plastic surgery and turned himself into a white man. I wonder, if all that was because his old man said he had a big nose as a kid?
    Michael Jackson has die a long time ago, right before our eyes.
    The sordid details, that emerged during the child molestation trial, left him mentally and physically broken.
    It was very sad to watch such a talent man, secluding not only himself, but also his innocent children from the world.
    I wonder, if his kids will grow up reserving for him, the same poor regrets he has from his own father.
    I may be wrong, but it looks like his children were subjected to the same type of life style, “Unusual Childhood”.
    They’ve been raised in an exclusive and unique circumstance…I often wonder how adjust they really are!
    Jackson has told of being whipped and mentally abused by his own father.
    In despite of all, at least he has a mother, and no matter how bad things are, it always a tremendous comfort having a mother around.
    In contrast of what have transpired in his childhood…from day one, unusual arrangements where made, and Michael Jackson offspring were all separated from their mothers at birth. Walked around with mask and veils. In 2002 Michael dangled baby Prince Michael II out of a Berlin hotel window. What on earth was he thinking!? That was one of the most outrage, and disgusting act of violence against a child I’ve ever seen. It was visible to all, the struggle of the infant swinging his tiny legs in the air.
    Though, Michael Jackson got away with it all, because he was the “King of Pop”.
    What was the difference, from the horrible life he claimed to have on his early days, to the ones he provided to his own children?
    In regards of his molestation charges, which he was cleared of any wrongdoing, it is not longer a matter of this earth. It will now be between him and GOD!
    Regardless, I loved his sequence of steps, his was an amazing entertainer and I will always appreciate his music.
    It may take some time, but at some point, his soul will merge his double self into a better and truer self, meet terms, and mend with what was left behind.
    Peaceful be His Next Journey

  2. Tebogo:

    I think you must get a life and not speak ill of the dead. Everybody knows only God will judge us.

  3. California:

    So quick and easy to bring out whats wrong about someone else. What on earth were you thinking?I know…maybe you lacked attention as a child…sooo now your trying to get attention from everyone else by posting this stupid crap on the internet. When you die…people are going to talk bad about you. why? because you did it to somebody else. So Sad!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Maryland:

    “That was one of the most outrage, and disgusting act of violence against a child I’ve ever seen. It was visible to all, the struggle of the infant swinging his tiny legs in the air.”

    Oh, please, now WHO is being a drama queen? He should have not have held the baby over the railing, but the baby’s legs were kicking because that is what babies do. I have held babies against me, supported by my arm, in the same way, of course, it was not on a balcony.

    But, with babies who are beaten and abused in this word, to say it was an act of “violence” is just stupid. Go get worked up because Britney Spears held her baby on her lap while driving on the driveway.

    These are dumb things, but not “disgusting act(s) of violence”.

    There are pictures on youtube that show where the makeup washed off MJ showing the effects of vitiglio. And, yes, vitiglio leaves the skin WHITE. There is no pigment left.

  5. Marcia Manzello:

    I am truly fond of The First Amendment.
    Freedom Of Speech people! All The POWER to You All!

  6. stefany:

    aww man i really do love him

  7. OanaZavoranu:

    Michael Jackson is truly the King of Pop.

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