Inquiries into Michael Jackson's death yesterday flooded news and search sites, causing Twitter to crash, Google to give errors, and severe slowdown across the Internet as a whole.
When the Escapist staff first read reports that the King of Pop had met his untimely demise, you'd better believe we hit the virtual Google streets, performing multiple searches in an attempt to verify TMZ's initial post. As it turns out, we weren't the only ones.
Once the mass public caught word of the story, Google, AOL, CNN, and other sites reported the Web slowing down to a sickly crawl. The search engine titan, Google, initially believed they were under attack: The sheer number of people querying the star's death caused many of them to receive an error page informing them that "your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application."
Twitter's servers buckled and collapsed under the weight of thousands of people tweeting the breaking news; before the servers died, they noted that nearly 66,500 people had mentioned "Michael Jackson" in their latest tweets. By Thursday afternoon, the number of Twitter posts about the King of Pop had reached 100,000 per hour.
TMZ is credited with being the first to post the news on Michael's death. They've taken a break from their coverage of celebrities' receding hairlines and nipple slips to give us constant breaking news of any and all MJ news, including Corey Feldman's homage and Flavor Flav's rejected condolences.