With news of Michael Jackson’s passing sinking in, the web has now recovered from the initial traffic surges it suffered as word first spread. As the blogosphere picks apart the way the story unfolded online, many are coming to the conclusion that the realtime web isn’t really the best place to get news accurately.
The first two sources to confirm Jackson’s death were online. TMZ and the LA Times suffered vast traffic surges that took them down, while Twitter (in between outages) was spreading misinformation about other celebrity deaths. Hours after the rumour began, people are still asking if Jeff Goldblum is dead (he isn’t).
So, when you can’t rely on the internet, TV’s the place to go right? Sure TV news is always there and it’s more careful with its facts; is it really any more useful though? Pictures for Sad Children makes a great point in this cartoon. The internet may be unreliable, but at least it says something!