When Michael Jackson died, Internet traffic surged such to the extent that it almost crippled many social networking sites -- Twitter, for example, had to disable its "trending topics" feature (a search function that lets you know what the hot topics are on Twitter at the moment) for a while to keep things going.
So perhaps it's no surprise that Facebook is telling reporters that as of today, the day of Michael Jackson's memorial service, his fan page now probably has the largest single following of any public figure on the Internet, eclipsing President Barack Obama by more than one million fans right now. UPDATE #2: When I checked on it, the page had almost 7.5 millions fans (full dislosure: I'm one of the half a million people who fanned the page on Tuesday). Facebook's Brandee Barker tells me that 6 million of those people have joined since June 25, when he died.
Facebook also says the free Michael Jackson glove gift is the most popular its ever had, with more than 800,000 given away.
They're tabulating numbers so they can do a comparison on Michael Jackson's activity during the memorial service to Obama's inauguration. UPDATE #2: Facebook put out some numbers Tuesday afternoon, saying that about 1 million users posted roughly 800,000 status updates related to the live online broadcasts by CNN, E! Online, ABC and MTV of the memorial service.
That compares to 1.8 million Facebook status updates that had the word "Obama" in it the day of his Presidential Inauguration.
Facebook wasn't able to provide comparison numbers with how many people viewed both the inauguration and the memorial service on Facebook.