"Slashdotting", or the slashdot effect is where a high profile website has a link to a low profile, low traffic website, and the increased web traffic on the latter causes it to slow down or crash.

Are there any hypernyms for this term, not limited to web sites being degraded? Of something being recommended by someone or something high profile, causing more people to visit or use it, resulting in it becoming overcrowded or otherwise degraded?

An example of that can be seen here, where a commenter has claimed that restaurants with the highest number of positive reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor or Yelp often will be crowded and have prices inflated, presumably as a result of its positive rating on those sites - increased real-life visitors from a high profile website causing a degraded experience.

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    Consider also Stephen Colbert's "Colbert Bump", the rise in popularity of a person or thing (from Jack White to the Firefox browser) after being featured or mentioned on the show. It's not always pejorative, but still similar: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Feb 15, 2013 at 8:15
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    Artificially Inflated traffic comes to mind
    – mplungjan
    Feb 15, 2013 at 8:30
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    @AvnerShahar-Kashtan ah, Delia Smith was causing "the Delia effect" in cookware and ingredients, when Colbert was still in diapers ;)
    – Jon Hanna
    Feb 15, 2013 at 11:43
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    Seems to call for a phrase such as a plague of popularity.
    – bib
    Feb 15, 2013 at 13:39
  • Ah, the good ol’ Super-colliding Multi-Collider effect.
    – tchrist
    Feb 15, 2013 at 14:41

4 Answers 4


I reckon that a suitable umbrella term could be over-publicity. Considering its use in terms such as flash-mob, you could perhaps also call this a mob-effect. Both these terms have the desired mix of positive and negative connotations.

  • Upvoted because I like "mobbing" as an answer to the question, but this is a personal preference.
    – gerwitz
    May 3, 2018 at 9:54

In the IT industry, 'Slashdotted' has been supplanted by 'Redditted' and similar terms.

The more generic 'Dos-ed' (DOS standing for Denial of Service) can fit in many situations, not just IT related.


The linked Slashdot effect article says:

The effect has been associated with other websites or metablogs such as Fark, Digg, Drudge Report, Reddit, and Twitter, leading to terms such as being Farked or Drudged, or being under the Reddit effect.

And adds:

A flash crowd is a more generic term without using any specific name that describes a network phenomenon where a network or host suddenly receives a lot of traffic.

And continues:

According to the Jargon File, the term "Slashdot effect" refers to phenomenon of a website becoming virtually unreachable because too many people are hitting it after the site was mentioned in an interesting article on the popular Slashdot news service. It was later extended to describe any similar effect from being listed on a popular site, similar to the more generic term, flash crowd, which is a more appropriate term.

The term "flash crowd" was coined in 1973 by Larry Niven in his science fiction short story, Flash Crowd. It predicted that a consequence of inexpensive teleportation would be huge crowds materializing almost instantly at the sites of interesting news stories. 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. This effect was anticipated years earlier in 1956 in Alfred Bester's novel The Stars My Destination.


Buzz marketing is a term used for word-of-mouth marketing or viral marketing that usually relies heavily on social media posts.

When "buzz" is created, occasionally the effects are detrimental, especially if the business or website is not prepared to handle the increase or surge in traffic. See the related phenomenon called the Groupon Effect at these links:



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