Michael Jackson Dead : Microsoft Bing FAILS in Coverage, Twitter and Facebook Break News

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Has Michael Jackson died or is this another social media and Internet hoax? Social Media is reporting his death. CNN is reporting he’s in a coma. And the search engines don’t have a clue what’s going on.

Michael Jackson Dead

Social Media : Twitter Coverage of TMZ

According to Twitter and Facebook users all over the world, Michael Jackson died today from a cardiac arrest after being rushed to the hospital. However, there is no major news network announcing his death, except for one unconfirmed “EXCLUSIVE” on AOL’s TMZ blog.

In addition to TMZ, the only other real sources reporting that Michael Jackson has died are celebrities on Twitter, and Twitter users retweeting the TMZ story and celebrity tweets.

Lindsay Lohan: NO OMG … sending my love and prayers out to Michael and his family … i feel sick..

Marlon Wayans: My prayers, my love, my heart goes out to michael jackson and the entire jackson family. I pray so hard for them. I’m crushed! Please pray.

Only in a social media controlled world would we see a Twitterized “revolution” in Iran, and the breaking news (or perhaps a hoax) of Michael Jackson’s death. Again, no news outlets have reported on Jackson dying from the heart attack as of 6:20 pm EST.

So How Are The Search Engines Reporting It?

In terms of search relevance and breaking news, even with conflicting news amongst various media outlets and social media, Google has not caught up to the rush of Michael Jackson news. Google is showing only ONE headline in its Google News Universal Search Onebox about the rumored passing of Jackson, with others about his jewelry and one about Lou Ferigno training Mr. Jackson.


Yahoo Search News Shortcuts, on the other hand, is right on top of the news.


Is Google Search lagging in breaking news coverage? Indeed it is. Microsoft BING however, has ABSOLUTELY FAILED in their coverage of the passing of Michael (scroll down).


Loren Baker
Loren Baker is the Founder of SEJ, an Advisor at Alpha Brand Media and runs Foundation Digital, a digital marketing strategy & development agency.
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  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Well, it looks like it’s not a hoax, according to the LA Times Twitterfeed and Blog; Pop star Michael Jackson was pronounced dead by doctors this afternoon after arriving at a hospital in a deep coma, city and law enforcement sources told The Times.

    Wow, social media beats traditional media in the reporting of news again. It’s been 5 minutes since I made this post and neither CNN, MSNBC
    nor Fox have reported on the passing of the Great One.

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Now CNN, which dropped the social media ball last week airing Larry King while Tehran was burning, is reporting that the King of Pop has not died, but he is really in a Coma : CNN coverage of Michael Jackson

    So who’s right? CNN or Twitter driven rumors??

  • Vygantas

    How is that search related?

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    Search, Twitter, Social Media … this is a breaking news story and the way News and Social Media Search cover it is quite search and Internet related.

  • HollieJ

    I am in shock – Just heard it on BBC News. I so wanted him to come back and be the Michaeal that we all knew and loved. My thoughts are with his family.

  • shanice martin

    i can not believe that he dead. my prays go out to his family

  • Sushubh

    AP has reported it now as well.

  • janice j

    Micheal Jackson’s passing today is just Not right! He has touched my life and alot of people’s lives and he had a heart of Gold! Now he is in Heaven and Noone can Hurt him anymore! God watch over Michael and Rock on brother WE LOVE YOU!!!!

  • Jack

    a true ledgend has passed away, such talent taken so high and then plundged so low …

  • gloria

    i am surprised twitter is not crushed… for the past hour and a half thats the only news populating my facebbok and twitter feeds…

  • Laurie

    Not a hoax. it’s on CBS

  • Alan Bleiweiss


    I think the biggest issue I picked up on while monitoring CNN was how they were continually quoting the LA Times as their source, saying that the Times was the “first” to report all of this.

    It brings up the issue of what “journalism” is, and the growing rift between old school and new media and confirming source info. Just one more RW step in the march toward a new blended concept of news coverage.

  • Heidi

    CNN 5 minutes ago said he’s in a coma…which is it!

  • Loren Baker, Editor

    One hour after posting this, CNN finally reports Michael Jackson as deceased (from the LA Coroner)

  • don

    Laurie, you said “Not a hoax. it’s on CBS.”

    Not criticizing you personally, but Dan Rather and Co. reported on Texas Air National Guard documents related to G.W. Bush in 2004, and the blogosphere proved those documents to be forged. Dan Rather still can’t admit he was party to a hoax.

    My point: Though a mainstream media outlet confirms Twitter reporting, it may still be a hoax. Did Jackson’s doctor — or a man claiming to be Jackson’s doctor — say on CBS that Jackson is dead? That may help in proving CBS is actually telling the truth.

    Forgive my cynicism, but I’m still shocked over ABC “reporting” just a few days ago on the healthcare issue from *inside* the White House — functioning as a mouthpiece of the Obama administration and not allowing opposing viewpoints to be aired.

    When I was younger, “trust no one over 30” was a popular meme. Today it should be something like “Make the MSM prove they’re telling the truth.”

  • conchita

    if a family member of the jackson family, i want to say that i know how you feel and that even though he’s not gonna be with us in person, he’s with us in our heart!!!
    i feel so so sorry!!!! rest in peace Micheal Jackson!!!!

  • Audrey mc gill

    A very very sad afair altogether!

  • janice j

    People that get on here to say soemthing bad about Michael should keep there mouth SHUT! This is a Day for him and his Family! Rest In Peace !

  • Shemeelia C

    I’m really really sad right now.I’m still shocked,I can’t believe it.I send out my condolences to his family,friends and fans.I’ll truly miss him and no one can take Michael’s space.He’s one of a kind.I’m so sorry,I’m just so so sad right now.I’ll always,always love Michael.

  • Scriptster

    Very sad news indeed.

    I’m not surprised Twitter and Facebook had the news first: when did you ever care to check if something is true before posting to either?

    RIP MJ


    Michael, may you moon walk your way into the Kingdom of God.
    I feel greatly saddended for his Family, Friends and Fan.. my God help us get through this difficult time.. R.I.P Michael Jackson.. may you have justice on your soul.. a true legend. I Love You…x

  • Kim

    He cant be dead He must be hiding with Elvis and Lisa Marie

  • Phil Buckley

    I don’t have super strong feelings about Michael Jackson’s death, but I do feel that once again the MSM does what they do best… wait for someone else to confirm a story before they announce something for sure.

    Ok, let me clear that up a bit, if announcing it would cause them grief, which in this case it would have, they wait.

    TMZ doesn’t care if they get it wrong, because it’s TMZ – but they got it right. Just like when people said “it’s only the national enquirer” reporting John Edwards is cheating on his wife… but they got it right. It’s only Matt Drudge reporting President Clinton is screwing around with an intern… you get the idea.

    Loren is right. The “under-story” here is once again, social media IS THE STORY. And it all comes back to search. Search Twitter for real time trends, search Yahoo news for new-ish news.

    Great post Loren.

  • Elizabeth Duncan

    I don`t want to believe that Michael Jackson is gone forever.My prayers go out to his family.The world has truly lost someone very special this day.He is now & will always be a LEGEND.I will never forget you.I will always love you Michael.

  • Gerald Weber

    Dude, the first thing in the Bing search result was Micheal Jackson concert tickets. Colossal FAIL!

  • Ashley Parker

    It’s really very sad news.

  • Ashley Parker

    I am a model. Please send me Friend Request. http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1845117258

  • Venkat

    Loren Baker,

    Sir, you are an idiot.

  • Vaibhav Pandey


    Today in the morning I heard this sad news and shocked that we have missed a great real time performer. I am sure nobody can take his place in coming future in all around the world.

  • Lea

    I am very sad today, that we have lost two of our childhood icons. Our past is slowly fading to make room for new. Please young people, show us the talents that you possess so that you too will have great people to entertain and reminisce on.

  • D.E.A.D.,no way it can’t be real!!!!!!

    my mom is one major fan. When she was sadly reviewing M.J’s music vids., she was crying.I agree with all of you, it’s very sad no one can ever replace him, I send my condolences. This is TERRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Lupe Lutin

    Since nature is not blessed with perfect human beings, we should learn how to live better within ourselves and try to contribute more humaness towards one another.
    Rest in Peace, Micheal, you should be at the gate of heaven just about now.
    God is your caretaker now.

  • james.crpd

    Its a great loss for music lovers on this planet which cannot be recovered !

  • Derrick

    I’d get as much MJ merchandise as I could get my hands on.
    Some can be found here


  • Ben Athens

    actually, I think you should wear the short one you wore the other night – you know, the green one with the sparkling bits on. That’s cool! I’m gonna wear my black outfit. Anyway, see you later. hugs



  • hemant

    BING is a decision engine.
    So the correct query for this should have been “IS MJ dead ? “

  • Belinda

    This is so sad, can’t describe my feelings.
    I am sure my fellow South Africans feel the same.
    Michael you were the BEST!

  • Katie & Holly x

    i actuly carnt believe hes gone.
    ov all people
    he was a insperation to most,
    and exspeshul to me ,
    he was a ledgend with music and a hero,
    he may done wrong in life,
    with the acuse of being a pedo.
    but people makes mistacks
    and i just carnt believe
    His Gone
    Rip MJ,
    gOne But Never Forgton,,

    Katie & Holly,
    Aged 14.

  • sibangor

    RIP Michael
    we always miss u

  • Latest Album Blog

    That’s sad. So sad. Although we all knew that he was not in a good state, but no one was ready for his death. I really feel so sick about this. There’s one thing that encourages me. His voice will always be heard. His songs will always stay in our hearts.

  • Jackson No.1

    Still Can’t Believe It.. I Wanted To Meet Him Soo Badly..
    Now I’m Never Going To Get The Chance 🙁
    I Will Always Remember You MJ.. How You Influenced Me And How Ur Music Became A Soundtrack To My Life.. I Jus Hope That Now Everyone Will Leave You Alone And Finaly Let You.. Rest In Peace. 1958-2009 You Will Never Be Forgotten..X

  • Praveen

    i feel so so sorry!!!! rest in peace Micheal Jackson!!!!


    It’s really sad to know that the king of pop Michael Jackson was announced dead just yesterday Thursday 25th June 2009 after suffering a heart attack. I’ve been brought up to this world hearing about him all the time when it comes to the music world. His voice was always known without hesitation; his style was marvelous he walked the walk and gave the sweet simple talks. I was and still am an admirer for all his music and so is the entire world. He got well known locally and internationally all the way from the United States to the Middle East Kuwait giving 45 years of his life to his career. He proved him self as a legend and so he deserves to be called MICHAEL JACKSON THE LEGEND.
    May his Soul Rest In Peace
    My prayers and condolences go out to the family of MJ THE LEGEND
    Khaled E. Al-Ajmi

  • ..sid

    luv u MJ………. always………. forever……….


    michael is the best music man in the world no one is replace him. I am so sad
    may his soul rest in peace

  • DEE

    Michael Jackson’s music was the blueprint for todays hio-hop generation. His humanaterianism for the children of the world should inspire us all. We have lost a musical genius and a great person. May he rest in peace and rejoice in the kingdom of heaven. Show some respect to his children and family by giving them time to mourn in private. We may have lost a legend but they lost a beloved family member.
    R.I.P. Michael you will be missed.


  • Marco

    Why do you say Bing failed? They had a link to Michael Jackson’s death just like Google did.



  • T Reyes

    Social networking media and mainstream media cannot be compared equally. Social media are NOT required to check sources. MSM still has some integrity and they DO check sources. Since I prefer to get factual reporting versus gossip (i.e. Twitter) I’ll stick with waiting an hour for the story with more credibility.

    If Mr. Baker suggests that Twitter and Facebook are doing a better job at breaking all news, then welcome to the prime example of contemporary society winning the race to the bottom. Social networks esp. Twitter are successful when they’ve generated a buzz therefore, if we begin to count on news to be broken by a Tweet, then plenty of newsworthy *but less popular* stories will fail to reach the general public.

    While I’m here, the bogus drama that mainstream reporters and many social networking (self-proclaimed) gurus like Mr. Baker create over new media versus old media is exasperating! It is not news! Yawn. (Contrary to what Phil Buckley above thinks.) Example, NYTimes and HuffPo: http://bit.ly/xIQWi

    It’s especially not news when journalists/bloggers get it wrong. More of Mr. Baker’s sensationalized non-news: the Google Search he did actually yielded 1,291 related articles – now over 17,000. Google is only showing one headline because that is how their interface is designed, not due to some “failure” in their news gathering ability.

    As for Bing – same story, it’s their interface. The “News about michael jackson” section got pushed to the bottom of the site. I bet if Mr. Baker changed his preferences then ta-da, Bing gets an A+. (I’ve used Bing only a few times, so I’m guessing changing preferences is an option.)

    It would be great everyone would quit announcing that the sky is falling on old media since these scare tactics only appeal to those who get off on uncertainty, have a short attention span or have an ego they need to preserve. (Most people in news industry?)

    Someone get me a seppuku knife before the Twits and Farcebookers get me. Please!

    The future of media arrived yesterday. No news here. Move on.

  • John

    It’s not true ! It can’t be true!! Michael Jackson is my life – my “raison d’etre “.
    I don’t believe any man who made such beautiful records meddled with children, he had a heart of gold.
    I believe Michael will be reborn in 7 days (a bit like jesus) and he will be better than ever !!!!!!

  • John

    God bless you Michael

  • sasha.

    TMZ was first then twitter. This article sucks! I love if you have money/status then its okay to be a child molester. Plus whats with all the praying? Lohan is like the ultimate sinner. I’m sure God doesn’t turn his back to her at all. YEAHHH right.

  • Claude

    I can hardly believe it. I wonder what his legacy will evolve into. I found a thoughtful discussion at pandalous. It’s here: http://www.pandalous.com/nodes/michael_jackson_is_dead

  • troll

    yeah a big WTF on the pic of the little boy in bing search. lol.

  • GP

    He says bing failed because he is a google fanboy and google can do no harm.

    At least bing didn’t make you enter captcha codes doing searches on mj for the first 45 minutes after the news broke.

    Google failed much worse than bing did.

  • kami

    omg i was hoping it was a rumor when i first heard it

  • Antoinette

    Best wishes for the Jackson family.

  • Piya

    Its so so hard to believe Michael Jackson is no more. An Artist dedicated his whole life to become a Great singer or Brilliant dancer or Excellent songwriter or Amazing composer, Electrifying Performer or the biggest Superstar of all time. Or someone spend entire life to be known as a great social worker by helping poor & sick, homeless.
    If U put everything together Its Magic , its Miracle , That terminology is called Michael Jackson —, A Great Artist & A Beautiful Soul .
    A Phenomenon like him happens once in lifetime. We are lucky to be in this generation, we could tell our grandchildren:-
    We were there!! When he moon walked the entire World. We love u Michael, we will always. You are immortal.

  • Huczek

    Fast information not always is right and checked. Most of “news” in TMZ is just garbage. So repeating afer tabloid website – of course is faster – but not more reliable.

    In this case tabloids were “lucky”. Michael Jackson is really dead.

    May he rest in peace. That’s a great lost.

  • test

    Fast information not always is right and checked. Most of “news” in TMZ is just garbage. So repeating afer tabloid website – of course is faster – but not more reliable.

  • seoz87

    well when compare all three search engine as per freshness and fast indexing level, I guess Bing lead the game as it did show the death news but only the placement isn’t good, It should be on top, the other SE wont shoe that result.

  • seoz87

    @ last comment sorry i didn’t see the yahoo results. they too showing the news of mj deaths’s

  • Tshaly Bwiha Furahini

    i verry sorry for my friend MJ
    i whill never forget you mj.
    i think that i’m the first fans of MJ in the world
    and i whill still him.
    RIP Michael Jackson

  • Topher

    I don’t understand the need to be first why not just be right.

    When TMZ went with the news they had no confirmation of it that any real news organization would trust.

    Remember all the engines are doing is telling us what is on the web.

  • SomeGuy

    I agree with T Reyes. To add to that, has anyone stopped to think that their was probably no creditable news sources for the search engine algo to push a news headline to the top of the search engine at the time of his death. Their were unconfirmed rumors and reports. Aside from the LA Times story who everyone in the MSM was taking with a grain a salt after TM freakin’ Z broke the news.

    MSM waits for conformation before announcing someones death. Not some dumbass twitting in his basement or a celeb site.

  • Ben Pitman

    @someguy true social networks dont have to worry about the problem of credibility but thats missing the point the reason social networks got it first is they have become a substantial part of our culture and every day life. whether you use them or not you can’t ignore them. This has been the first major celeb death since social networks have really taken off and it only proves what alot of people already knew.

  • asha

    if you were in heaven and i were to hell,i will look up and be proud of you!!!!!if i were to heaven and you were to hell,i will beg god to send me with you coz heaven wont be heaven without you!!!!i love you micheal!!!you are the best!!!one and only one in the world!!!

  • shima

    micheal please come back!!!!we need you!!!the world need you!!!i just cannot take it tat you’re not any more in the world!!!my heart his still cry for you.i just hope world say that micheal is back!!!!!!!!!ohhh micheallll i love you ssoooo much!!

  • capjoy

    It is all a hoax. Which one of the Jackson family members has actually said that Michael has died? No one cried at the memorial service. (Paris shed NO TEARS). Joe Jackson IMMEDIATELY started pushing his? concert tours instead of showing grief for his son who had “JUST DIED”. The fake photo taken of the photography on the left side of the van when the red car was on the other side. The old LAST REHEARSHAL video. 1st Michael has straight hair, then curly hair when rehearsing moments later???? Come on….

    • melinda

      I dont what to beilve. I’m a big fan of MJ but wathing all this on the internet… and looking at pics that just don’t add up… I agree about the family though they shed no tears at all… I mean if i was burying my own child….i would of been havin a nervouse break down… And i agree with capjoy.. i mean one min he has long curly hair the next short black …. also.. if u go to the site whre he did his last press confrence and compare him to another pic u will see all kinds of things that is isn’t right … I don’t think that was MJ at the press confrence… i think that was a double like.. I think mj just couldn’t take any of this anymore and needed out for awhile… IF mj is still alive I HOPE when he decides to come on TV again and explain that he has enough fans like me to understand and forgive… MJ if u r out there..

  • nidhi

    i’m so sad that MJ died …… he was so good . poor thing he led a hard life .

  • nidhi

    btw people visit michaeljacksonhoaxdeath.com
    its unbelieveable !!!

  • karrasia

    i love you micheljackson so much

  • tristan

    hi micheljackson im tristan i wish you could teech me how to dance i love you so much