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Friday, January 14, 2005

Think Janet Jackson's Wardrobe Malfunction was a Mistake?

The figure above plots the ranking of the search term "Janet Jackson" on the Yahoo! Buzz List, which reflects the top twenty search terms for a given week. The figure comes from this First Monday article which looks at the length of time search words stay on the Yahoo! Buzz List. Turns out the Buzz List has a lot of turnover: "[o]nly two terms persist for all 45 weeks studied ? Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez."

Given the almost instantaneous, yet short-lived, notoriety the malfunction gave Janet, it is hard to imagine that it was a mistake. It is also clear that celebrities, and especially those who need a boost to their notoriety, will be more prone to "mistakes."

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