The Internet is Abuzz
News of the verdict declaring Casey Anthony not guilty of first degree murder of her daughter, Caylee, came out at about 2:00 PM EDT on Tuesday. Christina Warren of Mashable.com reported that page views of news sites such as CNN.com and others spiked from 2 million to almost 3.3 million per minute after the verdict came out, a staggering increase. One of the contributing factors to this had to be that the trial and verdict were being streamed across the internet, which allowed those at work the ability to respond via Facebook and Twitter.
Why Such an Outcry?
The fact that so many people were reacting to this story certainly made it bigger than it would have been usually. A murder trial always grabs at least some public attention, but the fact that this trial dragged out for so long increased public speculation, and it all bubbled over today. My personal Facebook and Twitter pages were flooded with reactions over the trial, and I’d have to think that most people had the same experience. The details of this story definitely made it accessible to social media. The entire landscape of it had a "Chicago"-an feel, with an attractive woman possibly doing something terrible, and using that to conjure fascination and skyrocket to fame. Rumors that Kristen Stewart might be in line to play her in a movie only hyped things further. This good-old-fashioned murder case was simple enough that everyone could have an opinion on it and share it, as opposed to something more complex like our troubling economy.
The spike in Internet news traffic after the Anthony verdict came out is hardly surprising. The way that the case was presented made it easy to comprehend, and the movie-like visuals of the entire case allowed for lots of interaction. Without the Internet, I can’t imagine this story would have taken off like it has. Cases like this don’t seem like a trend (no pun intended) that will go away any time soon. I can only hope that Casey Anthony’s rise to fame doesn’t launch us back into an era of glamour murders like in the 20s and 30s. These stories may be fun for us all to react to, but glorifying these cases will not make for a ‘bella vita’ for any of us.