Michael Jackson, the “King Of Pop”, died last night after an apparent heart attack. He was rushed to UCLA Medical Centre after he collapsed in his LA home. The news first appeared on Twitter and Facebook statuses and spread like wildfire, before it was confirmed many hours later by mainstream news media.
In an example of the growing power of social networking sites, as well as breaking the news of Michael Jackson’s death first, both Facebook and Twitter are struggling this morning under the strain of fans rushing to let people know and give tribute to the legendary pop singer.
According to Mashable: “at least 30 per cent of Tweets are remarking upon the star’s tragic passing.” Mashable used the Twitter tracking tool Twist to check for mentions of “Michael Jackson” and “MJ” in users’ Tweets.
Expect Twitter and Facebook to suffer more outages through the day. Last night’s initial fan frenzy of activity already brought Google, Wikipedia and Twitter down temporarily.