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Monday
May022011

Osama Bin Laden Dead: Web Users Celebrate With Fake Twitter, Facebook Accounts

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Even before President Obama pronounced Osama bin Laden dead, the Internet was buzzing with the news -- and in the hours that followed, the Web exploded as people celebrated and satirized the demise of public enemy No. 1.

As people around the world tweeted their excitement about bin Laden's death, Twitter said it had its highest sustained rate of tweets ever.

From 10:45 p.m. to 2:20 a.m. ET, Twitter users generated about 3,000 tweets per second, with a peak of 5,106 tweets per second at 11 p.m. ET, Twitter said in a tweet Monday.

On Facebook, the page "Osama Bin Laden Is DEAD" attracted more than 300,000 "likes" as people worldwide shared comments and links to stories and video.

The Facebook page went viral in the aftermath of Obama's announcement but, as Mashable notes, the page appears to have been created before the official announcement of the big news.

"Osama bin Laden has not been found and will never be found because he died a long time ago. This may be news to you because it wasn't in the news," the description of the page says. "His death is critical to the CIA because they want you to believe in this so called 'War on terror' which has made the world a more dangerous place. If Osama bin Laden was alive, he would've been found -- just like Saddam Hussein."

Within hours of the announcement, fake Twitter accounts for bin Laden attracted thousands of followers.

Twitter Account @OsamaInHell: 'Bedrooms Are Called 'Sleeper Cells' Here.' The account @GhostOsama got more than 25,000 followers. Its tweets pretended to be from a man who "was once the best Terrorist of all time!" One of the tweeter's first posts said, "Obama is using my death to assure his reelection." Later, the account posted, "Was just granted my 72 virgins, YES!"

Google Maps was flooded with enthusiasts using the popular mapping tool to find the exact spot bin Laden was killed. According to the Google Earth Blog (which is not officially affiliated with Google), the location is especially difficult to find online because the newest imagery from the area is only from 2005.

Though map users may have had a tough time locating the place of bin Laden's death online, they still had a good time mocking it. More than 30 people have posted fake reviews for "Osama bin Laden's Compound" on Google Maps.

On Yahoo, searches for Osama bin Laden spiked 98,550 percent Sunday. Searches for September 11 jumped 1,009 percent. Among the top questions being searched for on Yahoo! are "How did Osama bin Laden die," "How old was Osama bin Laden," "Is it Usama or Osama?" and "Is Osama Really dead?"

"Osama bin laden dead" was among the top rising terms on YouTube Sunday night, Google said in its YouTube Trends blog.

But Google said video watchers were also hungry for songs, including Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue," "God Bless America," and Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A." Another top trending video on Twitter was President George W. Bush's 2001 bullhorn speech from Ground Zero. Between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. PT Sunday, there was a one million percent increase in Google searches for "bin laden," compared to earlier in the weekend, a company spokeswoman said.

Keynote Systems, a leading mobile and Internet performance monitoring company, said that soon after the announcement of bin Laden's death, top news sites (as well as their mobile sites) began to buckle under the strain of the unexpected traffic load. The company said that in the first 15 minutes after the news broke, it was as if a "flash mob" descended on mobile news sites. Unprepared for the onslaught of traffic, news sites slowed down and returned error messages, but they recovered quickly, Keynote said.

Akamai Technologies, Inc., a leading Web services company that monitors Internet traffic, said news of bin Laden's death led to a spike in Web traffic 24 percent above normal. On Sunday night around 11:40 p.m. ET, traffic peaked at about 4.1 million page views per minute, the company said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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