News Brief

MJ Breaks Final Record

News of Michael Jackson's hospitalization and death Thursday led to a one-day traffic record of 16.4 million visitors to Yahoo News, eclipsing the 15.1 million on election day, the Web portal said Friday. Yahoo's front page story on Jackson being rushed to the hospital yesterday afternoon was also the most clicked-on in its history, generating 800,000 clicks within 10 minutes.

Gossip site TMZ.com had broken the news that Jackson had suffered a cardiac arrest. The King of Pop's passing sparked a traffic surge across the Web that temporarily caused sites including Google News and Twitter to go down temporarily Thursday afternoon as servers were overwhelmed with the sudden spike in use volume.

Online discussions of Jackson far outpaced those of the swine flu scare as well as the inauguration of President Obama, according to Nielsen Buzzmetrics. An analysis the service released Friday showed that more than 16% of tweets over the prior 24 hours mentioned Michael Jackson, easily surpassing the proportion of those referring to Farrah Fawcett, who also died Thursday, and Iran. --Mark Walsh

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