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10 Examples of Celebrities Crashing Websites

The well-placed mention of a website by a celebrity can cause enough traffic to crash the site; as thousands of people flock to check out the recommended link, servers overload. Though these occurrences are somewhat rare, they’re not unheard of; here are ten examples of websites that crashed under the traffic load resulting from the actions of a celebrity.

  1. Christian Bale and Dicky Eklund – A shout-out from Christian Bale during his Oscar acceptance speech caused Dicky Eklund’s website to crash after receiving almost twenty times it’s normal daily traffic. Bale picked up his Academy Award for his portrayal of welterweight boxer Dicky Eklund in The Fighter.
  2. Lady Gaga and Amazon – When pop idol Lady Gaga teamed up with mega-retailer Amazon for the release of her album “Born This Way,” they decided to set a limited-time offer of 99 cents. The overwhelming response from eager fans caused the website to temporarily crash Amazon’s server; despite this incredible wave of sales, the album remained near the top of Amazon download charts at full price for months.
  3. American Idol Contestant Brittany Kerr – Despite a quite brief audition appearance on the top-rated show American Idol, Charlotte Bobcats Cheerleader Brittany Kerr’s performance generated so much traffic to her management company’s website that the server crashed. The owner of the management company later stated, “We were prepared for it to be big, it just exceeded our expectations.”
  4. Anna Paquin and Give a Damn – The Give a Damn campaign launched by the True Colors Fund for GLBT equality gained so much attention from True Blood star Anna Paquin’s declaration of bisexuality that the server staggered under the enormous traffic load. Administrators posted a message stating “OK — We did not anticipate THIS kind of traffic!” while additional servers were added to restore the site’s functionality.
  5. Victoria Beckham and the Irish Hospice Foundation – When “Posh Spice” Victoria Beckham tweeted her thanks to U2 vocalist Bono for a book he purchased for her infant daughter Harper, the traffic it generated to the connected charity, the Irish Hospice Foundation, caused the website to crash. A vast number of Beckham’s 2.5 million followers visited the site to investigate; the traffic was more than the servers could ever hope to handle. The IHF later tweeted in response, “We hope you and David enjoy reading it to Harper.”
  6. Daniel Tosh and Celebrity Net Worth – A mention from funnyman Daniel Tosh on his Comedy Central show Tosh.0 caused the website Celebrity Net Worth to crash, moments after the segment aired. The site, which estimates the amount of money celebrities are worth, was the talk of Twitter and various tech blogs after collapsing under the traffic load generated by Tosh.
  7. Led Zeppelin Concert Site – When legendary rock band Led Zeppelin announced a one-off reunion show in 2007 in tribute of music mogul Ahmet Ertegun, the traffic generated by fans desperate to secure the very limited tickets collapsed the concert’s official website. The one-time gig, twenty-seven years after Zeppelin’s split, was limited to 18,000 tickets and included other rock legends such as Pete Townshend and band Foreigner.
  8. The Royal Wedding and the BBC – Despite expectations of high traffic and preventative measures, the sheer volume of web traffic to the BBC website during Prince William and Duchess Kate’s 2011 nuptials bombarded the site and collapsed the server.
  9. Stephen Fry and the Elephant Family – British Television personality Stephen Fry crashed the website for a charity he was supporting, Elephant Family, with a tweeted link to the site and the promise of a chance to win a kiss. Traffic from fans hoping to receive that smooch proved to be more than even an elephant could bear!
  10. George Michael and Symphonica – Despite a highly-publicized sex scandal in the 90′s, George Michael’s announcement of additional London tour dates caused such an online frenzy that the ticket merchant’s site could not cope with the demand. After a few hours of downtime, the site was restored and fans snapped up the remaining tickets.
Obviously, even in the world of electronics, too much of a good thing can cause a stress overload.

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