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Casey Anthony, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian among biggest stories of 2011

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Casey Anthony
Joe Burbank/AP Images

Though Harold Camping turned out to be wrong — twice! — 2011 wasn’t a banner year for humanity. Just look at the most-searched online terms, according to Bing: Hurricane Irene (No. 3 Most Searched News Story), Japan earthquake (No. 4), Amy Winehouse’s death (No. 5). Sitting at No. 1 is no surprise to Nancy Grace: the Casey Anthony trial. It really can’t compete with natural disasters for true tragedy, but if you’re in the mood to lament our civilization, you can’t really do better than our universal obsession with the Anthony trial.

If there’s a silver lining, it’s that we cared much less about Kate Gosselin and Jesse James this year compared to 2010. Of course, they were replaced on the Most Searched Person list by Lindsay Lohan and Megan Fox. (Megan Fox? Really? In 2011?)

If 2011 is remembered for one thing, though, I think we can all agree that it was the year that Justin Bieber proved once and for all that his staying power is longer than 30 seconds. The 17-year-old superstar was the Most Searched Person online, dislodging last year’s queen, Kim Kardashian. For that alone, let us all bow to the Bieb.

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