When news of the iconic performer's death began trickling out, scores of people turned to the Web for news.
TMZ broke the news that Jackson, 50, had died Thursday afternoon, but the gossip hub cited only unnamed sources and offered few details, reports The Telegraph.
The massive level of interest caused the site to temporarily go down but that did not stop the news spreading via blogs and social networking sites.
As other news services turned their attention to the story and as the public took to the Web to learn more about the performer''s condition, some Web sites began slowing down.
Some Google users complained that the search engine's News area was inaccessible for a time.
The BBC Web site reported UK traffic was 48 per cent higher than usual at 4am on Friday.