Jackson’s Death a Blow to the Internet

by admin June 26, 2009 at 3:24 pm

Many people around the world yesterday were saddened over the news of the sudden death of pop star Michael Jackson.

But the King of Pop’s passing also impacted the tech world as millions of fans flocked to Twitter, Facebook, and various news sites to soak up Jackson-related information.

The result was an impact on the Internet we haven’t seen since the Great Google Lapse of 2009.

TMZ: Scoop or Fail?

TMZ was the first news service out of the gate with news about Michael Jackson’s death just after 3 p.m. Pacific Time. Initally, TMZ quoted unnamed sources about the singer’s death, but did it really have the scoop?

Maybe not, says technology writer Mike Elgan on his personal blog The Raw Feed. Although Elgan can’t say for sure whether TMZ had solid information, the writer notes that someone had created a phony news story using an online tool that creates fake news items. The bogus story was from a nonexistent news service called Global Associated News. Before long, tweeters were linking back to GAN’s phony report, with links growing at a rate of 10 per second for half an hour, Elgan says. The funny thing is, the tweets and the fake story all happened before TMZ broke the news using anonymous sources.

Read more: pcworld.com