Slashdot Effect

Slashdot Effect

Updated Oct 07, 2020 at 07:08AM EDT by shevyrolet.

Added Jun 14, 2012 at 01:55AM EDT by Brad.

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.


The Slashdot Effect, also known as Slashdotting or the "Hug of Death", refers to any sudden and massive increase in website traffic as a result of referrals from a high-profile website or celebrity with a large audience. The term usually signifies negative consequences experienced by the receiving end, such as significant delay in loading time or even temporary outage due to insufficient data bandwidth.


The name stems from the popular tech news site Slashdot, where featured links would often become unavailable as a result of its readers suddenly flooding into an unsuspecting website with smaller bandwidth capacity. The site that became inaccessible as a result of referral traffic from Slashdot is said to have been "Slashdotted" or "/."

Slashdot C Feedback Submit Story Log In Join stories recent popular Follow us: Slashdot Poll Microsoft's Approach To Battling the iPad In the Workplace Posted by timothy on Tuesday January 25, @10:01PM from the pound-on-the-table dept. How many microprocessors are in your home, total? ask slashdot book reviews games idle yro An anonymous reader writes Even though Microsoft's public stance, when asked about the impact of Apple's slate is 'iPad? What iPad?, the Redmondians are preparing the company's partners for battle in 2011. Microsoft is making available to its reseller partners marketing collateral to help them defend against the iPad's encroachment into the enterprise market. I had a chance to check outa PowerPoint dated December 2010 on 'Microsoft Commercial Slate PCs' that the company is offering to its partners to help them explain Microsoft's slate strategy to business users." O 2-5 O 6-10 O 11-20 O Too many O 0, but multiple slide rules cloud hardware linux management mobile Read the 278 comments Voted on 14515 times. Vote Besides the iPad, there are also the raft of tablets (available and upcoming) running Android, and Blackberry's QNX tablet that Microsoft will have to sell past. Recent Tags Read the 28 comments slashdot apple business handheld Amazon Bulk-Email Service Could Lure Spammers storage Posted by timothy on Tuesday January 25, @07:52PM from the penny-for-your-thoughts-on-sexual-enhancement dept. snydeq writes linux Amazon Simple Email Service and Amazon Web Services look to be a potent whatcouldpossiblygowrong

The term was first coined on the site sometime in the second quarter of 1998 and the original definition was submitted to the Free Online Dictionary of Computing by Slashdot user John Abbot on October 24th, 1998. Less than a month later in November, Abbot posted a link to the dictionary entry on Slashdot, which remains the earliest known mention of the term on the site.

(Jargon) An effect where a document on a WWW server is linked to from another, popular, site, with the resultant traffic overloading the server so that a connection cannot be made to it. This is especially likely if the server is running Microsoft IIS.


The generic term "flash crowd" was coined more than two decades earlier in Larry Niven's 1973 science fiction short story Flash Crowd, which posited that the invention of inexpensive teleportation would lead people to instantly overcrowd the sites of interesting news stories or spectacles. Twenty years later, the term became commonly used on the Internet to describe exponential spikes in website or server usage when it passes a certain threshold of popular interest.


In 1999, The term "Slashdot effect" and its verb form "Slashdotted" entered the lexicon of Slashdot users and spread to other tech news and geek culture sites. The "slashdotting" of webpages remained a frequent occurrence throughout the early 2000s, as most websites and blogs weren't properly equipped to handle such influx of traffic, with the exception of major news sites or corporate websites. The referred websites were reported as inaccessible within minutes of a story's appearance on Slashdot's homepage. In some of the more extreme cases, premium subscribers of the site would overwhelm the referred site even before the story became available for the general readership.

1200.0 k 900.0 k 0 600.0 k 300.0 k 2 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 0 2 4 6 8

Perhaps due to the community's highly educated demographic, there have been several research and data analysis projects surveying the magnitude of Slashdot effect on websites, which may range from several hundred to several thousand hits per minute. On February 1, 1999, Slashdot user Stephen Adler published a paper titled "The Slashdot effect," which provided a cross-comparison of incoming website traffic to three academic papers after they were featured on the news sites Slashdot, Linux today and Freshmeat.

Hit Times Nent 189853 Mea n 908957 RMS =89.5014 180 E 160 140 120 100 80- 60 40 20E 0 9089 3089.5 9090 3090.5 9091 9031jp W00R-36.3» min Bin Width = 36.00 min Hit Times Hit Tlmes Nent 189858 Mean = 911592 RMS =261.695 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 9118 9120 9122 Bin Width 100.80 min 9114 Hit Times Nent = 189858 Mean =917576 RMS =302704 250 200 150- 100 50 0 9175 9175.2 9175.4 9175.6 9175.8 9176 9176.2 9176.4 9176.6 Bin Width = 14.40 min

A Google Image search for the term "slashdot effect" yields dozens of statistical graphs illustrating the impact of Slashdot on the referred websites. According to these estimates, the peak of traffic influx usually occurs when the article is placed at the top of the home page and begins to subside as the news story is superseded by newer items and pushed off the front page. The earliest Urban Dictionary entry for the term was submitted in November 2002, followed by its appearance on the online slang glossary Jargon File as early as in June 2003.


Many solutions have been proposed for sites to deal with the Slashdot effect. In 2004, Slashdot user and founder of network security firm Edgeos Jay Jacobson launched a project called Mirrordot to alleviate the negative impact by automatically mirroring any website that is linked on the news site's homepage, thus mitigating the impact of the flash crowd. Jacobson's project was covered by Wired Magazine in an article published on October 1st, 2004. According to the article, Jacobson started Mirrordot after growing frustrated with the frequent downtime of featured links on the site.

Think Secret Now Book, Mac mini part numbers appear (updated) Mozilla Firefox irrordos MirrorDot's Sponsors Flease Support MirrorDot and Check Out Our Sponsors Deru Intermet- Bandwidth, Colocation, and Hosting Services Deru provides all of the bandwidth and colocation for METoDot Deru's network can easly handle all of MuToDots mojo, so they can certainly handle your needs tool Edgeos Private Labeled Vulnerability Assessment Services Edgeos focuses completely on pvate-labeled managed vulnerablity assessment services Nothing ore, nothing less Every aspect of Edgeos' system can be private-labeled, enabling your business to create complete managed vulnerablity assessmest service offerings for your customers almost overnight nk Secret Imsr GS: 1GB $108 512b $48 GA PC133:512mh $83 556mh $36 Flst Imse Titaniem: 512b $102 256mb $39 425.930.4769 or click for our ANONYMOUS FLASH MEMORY FOR CAMERAS AVAILABLE New iBook, Mac mini part numbers appear (updated) MAIL FORM By Ryan Katz, Senior Editor ADVERTISEMENTS udy 21, 2005 Apple's forthcoming IBook update will also usher in revised Mac mini models, according to new part numbers that are showing up in Apple databases. ADVERTISEMENT Servlnt Three new Mac mini configurations will be available in the near future, priced at $499, $599, and $699, sources say. Apple currently does not offer a $699 Mac mini configuration. Choose backgd I 郊郊郊% □ New Book part numbers are meanwhie showing up at $999 and $1,299 price point with the $1,499 model seemingly dropped from the line-up. Think Secret first brought word of the pending Book earlier this week Dore

By 2005, Slashdot effect became a less frequent occurrence, partially due to the decrease in costs of bandwidth and the development of preventative measures like Mirrordot, as well as the news site's diminishing daily traffic caused by the rising popularity of other news sites like Digg and Reddit. The disappearance of Slashdot effect was noted by business news publication Bloomberg Weekly in an article published on March 2nd, 2005.

Notable Examples

Throughout the 2000s, the generic usage of Slashdot effect spread across other tech news sites and geek culture blogs designed as user-submitted news communities, most notably on Digg, Reddit and FARK, where the term spawned localized versions like "Digg Effect", "Reddit Effect", and getting "FARKed." The political news blog Drudge Report has been also known to produce similar effect on smaller websites, which became known as getting "Drudged." Additional case studies can be found on a number of globally popular, high-profile websites, such as links that spread virally through Twitter or Google Doodles that are featured on Google's homepage.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Slashdot Effect

[2] Free Online Dictionary of Computing – Slashdot

[3] Slashdot – Woohoo, We're Famous

[4] Slashdot – Beware of the Slashdot Effect

[5] Slashdot – A Mediocre Article

[6] Princeton University – Slashdotting

[7] Brookhaven National Laboratory – The Slashdot Effect

[8] Jargon File – Slashdot Effect

[9] Urban Dictionary – Slashdot Effect

[10] Bloomberg Business – Less Impact from the Slashdot Effect (unavailable)

[11] Wired – Solution for Slashdot Effect?

[12] I Grok2 – Reddit Effect

[13] ReadWriteWeb – Digg Effect (unavailable)

[14] CNN (via Wayback Machine) – Google's unknown artist has huge following

Recent Videos 1 total

Recent Images 9 total

Top Comments

+ Add a Comment

Comments (14)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Yo Yo! You must login or signup first!