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The legacy of 'Nipplegate'

'Nipplegate' And Its Lasting Internet Legacy


Arguably the most infamous moment in Super Bowl history didn't happen during the game. Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday marks the 10-year anniversary of Janet Jackson's notorious wardrobe malfunction and a decade later we can still see the effects.

YouTube was founded in 2005 and just one year later, sold for $1.6 billion to tech juggernaut Google, but co-founder Jawed Karim says the idea of YouTube partly came from Janet's Super Bowl moment.
Also, at the time of Nipplegate, TiVo was just five years young. According to Forbes the nip-slip heard around the world pushed a whopping 35,000 people to subscribe bringing in about $3.5 million. Also, it became the most replayed moment in TiVo's history at the time.

Unsurprisingly, Janet Jackson's name dominated the Internet in the days following.
According to the BBC, "People using Google searched for "Janet Jackson" almost 10 times more the day after the game than they did on Sunday ... And by Wednesday Jackson broke records on Yahoo, accounting for nearly 20% of all terms searched on the site."

So, why did the so-called "NippleGate" have such a dramatic effect on our media? Well, not too long ago viewers either saw a moment or didn't. But some moments, like an R&B super star's breast popping out on live television, demand a replay. YouTube and TiVo provided that option.

Some other notable changes that corresponded with the 2004 Super Bowl; the term "wardrobe malfunction" being permanently added to American verbiage, five out of the next six Super Bowl performances were all middle aged white men and Janet Jackson started taking her acting career a lot more seriously.

Join the discussion

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mjc656 February 02 2014 at 10:19 PM

I never understood why it was all about Janet Jackson's exposure. Why wasn't it about glamorizing some guy (Justin Timberlake) ripping off her clothes in an abusive manner?

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beckstein February 02 2014 at 6:33 PM

I think people over reacted to this I have seen worse things on tv

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johnfor3 February 02 2014 at 6:30 PM

Changed the world??? really? I THINK NOT!

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gobbi141 February 02 2014 at 11:47 PM

Nevermind that half time show....This year stunk!!!!!!!! It's all programmed for young people. I hated it. The best part was the commercials and even those were kind of stupid.

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jdsept gobbi141 February 03 2014 at 7:38 AM

The game is seen everywhere, not just FL retirement communities. The Chili Peppers released 5 CDs in the 80s and only 1 in the last 8 years. Their fan base is hardly the young of today. They were at the top of their game 25 years ago LOL LOL Sorry Sinatra was booked and couldn't do this year's Super Bowl.

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C.J. February 02 2014 at 6:26 PM

It was all set up!

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gmgpjandon February 02 2014 at 11:58 PM

What's one more nipple more or less in a world of trillions + of nipples? Humans, the only species that breed down.

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Margie + Mark February 02 2014 at 9:42 PM

The only 'bad' thing about it ... My nephew was watching it, too. He is young (early teen) and GASPED! I personally think it was well planned. STUPID!

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jmccann31 February 03 2014 at 12:18 AM

This year's Half time show was the best they've had in a long time. It was actual entertainment.
It didn't have any girls/women on stage trying to show everyone their bodies. The Stars Spangled
Banner was sung so beautifully. Queen Latifa did a great job. The fireworks going off in the background was so pretty. The game could've been a little more entertaining, but hey! that's sports!
All in all it was the best they've had in a very long time.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Dave February 02 2014 at 5:55 PM

Nipplegate....wardrobe malfunction.... good thing Janet had a pastey covering her nipple, just in case their was a "wardrobe malfunction"... What a load of malarkey.

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Carabella February 02 2014 at 5:54 PM

It was a non-issue then, it's more so now.

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