Cashing in on Osama's ‘dead body', online

| | Updated on: May 08, 2011
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A video on YouTube uploaded by CBSNewsOnline on May 1, titled Osama bin Laden dead - body identified , received 1,272,452 views as of 3 p.m. on May 8. The title subtly suggests that the video would feature the slain terrorist's body, but after 4 minutes and 17 seconds, viewers end up disappointed. The video received 2,975 likes - and 2,329 dislikes.

Another video, this one titled Osama bin Laden Killed ! Video Of His Dead Body! has been posted by David Spates, an aspiring comedy writer and actor. He has greeted 1,30,596 curious visitors with an “I got you” video (as of 3.30 p.m., Sunday, and growing). Soon after, he adds, “To see the real video, click here,” at which point another video link comes up. Some 66,845 people have viewed the second video too, where he says, “I got you again” and laughs out loud.

Spates is not entirely unapologetic, but makes an ardent plea: “If you have a sense of humour, go on to my page and check out my videos.” His YouTube page has a collection of homemade videos made for the internet. His message is: “I have 4 written comedy scripts and a sketch comedy show that I am trying to get made so trust me if these little homemade NO budget internet videos of mine make you laugh, when I get my movies and/or TV show made it is going to kill you!”

Not everyone is laughing. On YouTube, the video registered 84 likes and 279 dislikes.

Still searching for Osama

Osama ruled last week – on the World Wide Web, that is. When news of his killing was announced by the US President last Sunday, micro-blogging site Twitter reported a spectacular 5,000 tweets per second during the beginning and end of Obama's speech, and billed it the “highest sustained rate of tweets ever” at an average of 3,000 tweets per second through the speech.

On search, Google's Insights for Search tool tells us that the top ten rising searches as of 5 p.m. on May 8 were all for Osama, by different combinations of his name. Relative to US President Obama, on May 2, the day after the announcement was made, the search score was 100:15 in favour of Osama. As on May 6, Osama continued to be searched more, by 9:3.

While the top three countries where search for “Osama” was made in the period from May 2 to 8 were Kenya (relative Google search score of 100), Nigeria (72) and Pakistan (67), India ranked 10 with a relative score of 39. For the search term “Osama Bin Laden” though, Pakistan scored highest, followed by Nigeria (98) and Puerto Rico (85).

Published on May 13, 2011

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