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Whose death brought Twitter, Wikipedia and other websites to their knees?



Answer: Michael Jackson

There are certain levels of fame, from a subordinate role in an almost forgotten sitcom, to a mega-star that takes your name billions of dollars and keeps you there for decades. It was this kind of mega-celebrity that kept singer and performer Michael Jackson in the limelight until his last moments, and that mega-celebrity that caused hundreds of millions of people around the world to turn to the Internet after the announcement of his death.

The public interest in the hours and days after Jackson's death was so great that big and small sites went down. TMZ, a reputed LA-based gossip website, broke the news officially, and the LA Times had picked it up almost immediately ̵

1; the two sites were taken offline almost instantly by the massive wave of subsequent traffic.

Google made so many requests of Jackson's name that engineers said there was a massive – albeit peculiar – denial of service attack. This afternoon, Wikipedia experienced server crashes due to the extreme load of tens of millions of searches on King of Pop, Twitter was temporarily decommissioned, and AOL Instant Messenger was experiencing so much traffic that the service was buried under the volume of instant messages. Overall, global Internet traffic was 20 percent higher as the entire security world was looking for things related to Jackson.

The larger Internet is built to survive traffic jams and catastrophes, and large corporations have powerful hardware, but only half of the world supports the same time searching the Internet for information about one of history's most famous musicians was certainly no catastrophe book.

Courtesy of Westlake Recording Studios.


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