May 2, 2011— -- 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.
"Now the families of those lost can rest in peace. God Bless our country and military," said one Facebook user.
"Hats off to our boys and gals overseas on a job well done!!!" wrote another.
While the Facebook page is full of celebratory posts, others called for proof of bin Laden's death.
"i'd like to believe that this is all true, but for some reason iam not buying it untill we see a body,oh thats right he was buried out in the ocean. now will never know! yet another conspiracy," said a Facebook user.
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!"
Another mock Twitter account, @OsamaInHell, has attracted more than 7,000 followers with posts sharing bin Laden's fake experience in the underworld.
"Wait, what?" he posted in an inaugural post, seemingly surprised at his new home.
As the president made his announcement, @OsamaInHell wrote, "Barack's running through my greatest hits. I'm like the Mariah Carey of terrorism."
Later, the tweeter posted, "Listening to orientation speech. Bedrooms are called "sleeper cells" here. #irony."
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.
"Disappointed in the service. The only thing on the menu was goat flesh, and the place reeked of burning garbage<" said one reviewer."
Osama bin Laden Yahoo Searches Spike 98,550 Percent Sunday
"Located in cozy, quiet neighborhood. Interrupted only occasionally by machine gun fire. Lacking in ameneties, but an up and coming area. Handyman special. One satellite phone available with smoking bullet hole for comms back home. CIA helicoptors offering complimentary air lift service for corpses. Great property to get away from it all. Must See!" posted another.
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.