Ghost Sites of the Web

Web 1.0 history, forgotten web celebrities, old web sites, commentary, and news by Steve Baldwin. Published erratically since 1996.

June 14, 2005

Disappearing Celebrity Defense Sites

In November of 2004, following Martha Stewart's lead, Michael Jackson launched a new Web site proclaiming his innocence. It was, according to published reports, located at this URL:

Today, this site doesn't exist (it's been replaced by a generic search page). No record of its existence is present in the files of the Internet Archive (but this is explicable, given the Archive's very long lag between the time its spiders archive a site and the time that said site becomes viewable by the public).

What role did Michael Jackson's site play in terms of mobilizing public opinion? Or as an organizing hub for his supporters? What statements were published there, when? What can we learn about how such "defense-oriented" Web sites might be used in the future by accused celebrities?

Right now, the answer is "very little." And it is interesting to note that Martha Stewart's site, was last updated seven months ago, making it, by every criteria of bit-rottedness, a Ghost Site.

I guess accused celebrities don't care about what happens to their Web sites once they are separated from the jaws of their accusers. I don't blame them -- there must be a lot of wine-drinking and celebrating in the Jackson camp tonight and I doubt that the state of one's defense site is much of a priority now. But it's too bad -- because both Martha and Michael are walking around tonight with millions of bucks in their pockets and the people who stand with accused celebrities in their darkest hours -- whatever we might think of their blind allegience -- deserve better.

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