Sudden demise of the pop icon Michael Jackson has showcased the power of the microblogging phenomenon Twitter in helping people to stay connected over happenings around the globe, as many users logged on to the website posting tweets to pass on the related information, thoughts, and news about this unfortunate event.
People turned to Twitter after the news of Jackson’s hospitalisation and possible death emerged on Thursday afternoon, sharing latest updates on his condition.
The depressing incident of Jackson’s death was a landmark event for the history of the internet, as many websites, including Google and Twitter, were down and even suffered crashes after a deluge of users went online to verify reports relating to the pop star’s death.
In a related story, David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, has refused being the author of a Twitter update paying tribute to Michael Jackson, and said that the profile carrying his name is bogus.
The fake tweet, which was reportedly from a Twitter user naming himself as “David_Miliband”, wrote: “Never has one soared so high and yet dived so low. RIP Michael.” The tweet was picked up by several media organisations, compelling the Foreign Office to post its own tweet saying, “David Miliband does NOT have a Twitter account”.
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Michael Jackson is the first global personality to die during the era of Twitter, Facebook and Wikipedia. There are only a handful of personalities whose death could inspire such fervour and almost religious following. This has showed the limits of the current infrastructure as a once-in-a-decade event focused worldwide attention.