Michael Jackson’s Death Seen as Attack

By  |  Friday, June 26, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Google interpreted the swell of searches inspired by the passing of entertainer Michael Jackson as a malicious attack on its Google News service, according to reports.

People searching for news about the music icon after word spread about his condition were met by a cryptic message: “We’re sorry, but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can’t process your request right now.”

It may sound as if Google goofed, but on the contrary, its system worked almost flawlessly. The alert was probably automatic, because traffic was at a significantly higher volume than under normal conditions, and many searches were mobile searches. The company caught onto what was really happening approximately 25 minutes later, CNET reported.

Google did not release specific traffic data, but Yahoo received 16.4 million visitors within 24 hours. The fact that both sites remained accessible is laudable; there was no change in performance from my end.

Had there been a major emergency somewhere in the world, the search giants would have remained a useful conduit for people seeking credible information about what was going on. The companies also showed that they could effectively protect their services from an actual attack.

 
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7 Comments For This Post

  1. JDoors Says:

    Ahh! So THAT’S what happened. I read ‘headlines’ that suggested MJ “nearly brought down the Internet,” and thought that was just too silly to bother reading, but I can see how what you’re saying would lead to such headlines.

    It’ll be interesting to see if this leads to some changes, we can’t have Google et al blocking searches if there’s a catastrophe, for example.

  2. homedetoxgirl Says:

    It is such a great loss that a man with great talent like Michael Jackson dies. RIP King of POP.

  3. myarthritistreatments78 Says:

    Michael Jackson is my favorite pop artist ever since i was a child. He is truly the King of Pop and i am saddened by this news.

  4. acnetreatmentsjenny Says:

    michael jackson is a very very talented person to the point that he rose as a pop icon. he would live forever in our history books and memories.

  5. Melatonin~side~effects Says:

    there would be no other King of Pop like Michael Jackson. he would always be the King.

  6. | Acne Treatment Health Site Says:

    i idolize Michael Jackson because of his great achievement in the Pop Music. farewell King of Pop.

  7. Kayla Mae Says:

    i am already a great fan of Michael Jackson ever since i was just a little kid. i would really miss the King of Pop