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The XHamster Wikipedia Page Is Suddenly Immensely Popular, and No One Knows Why ( 129

An anonymous reader shares a report: At the beginning of June I started to notice that XHamster, the third most popular adult website after Pornhub and XVideos, had one of the most viewed Wikipedia pages. On May 29, XHamster's Wikipedia page went from receiving around 100,000 views to 200,000. By June 1, it was getting more than 300,000 views a day for no apparent reason. There haven't been any viral stories about XHamster lately. There are no controversies about the page itself that would have prompted sustained attention or an edit war. [...] Pageviews on XHamster's Wikipedia page, however, has been bonkers throughout the month of June for no obvious reason. That's according to a pageview analysis tool from Wikimedia Labs, and confirmed by a Wikipedia spokesperson. I reached out to Wikipedia to see if it could shed some light on this puzzle. In an email, a spokesperson verified that the pageviews were accurate but that they didn't know what was causing the surge. Wikipedia's spokesperson pointed out that the edit activity, unlike its pageviews, has remained steady.
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The XHamster Wikipedia Page Is Suddenly Immensely Popular, and No One Knows Why

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Kodi addons.
    • Nah, simpler than that. Whenever msmash posts a clickbait story, that generates traffic.

      As in, this is a hoax story. Person A created a lot of "visitors" so that person B could write a story about the "anomaly." Persons A and B both either work or have interests in that company. Person C realizes what is going on and uses it to generate clickbait revenue on her Digg reincarnation, Slashdot, once touted a "News for Nerds" site.
      • I was thinking something far more innocuous, like some tiny fascist dictatorship has banned all porn with a global proxy that filters everything based on request URL and referrer string comparisons. Then randomly one day someone notices that anything with a wikipedia referrer passes the filter and word gets out.

  • by FudRucker ( 866063 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:44PM (#54749131)
    and there were not any hamsters, but lots of poor people that could not afford to even buy clothes to wear
  • ...many windows open when you are trying to see that school girl railed.

    Who knows where they go.

  • Botnet? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:48PM (#54749157)

    My first thoughts are a botnet using a wikipedia page to check for instructions (since wikipedia is unlikely to be blocked)....otherwise, random IP accesses to a page like that would be very weird.

    • by dlleigh ( 313922 )

      Yup, sounds like a command and control network.

      Are all the hits to the main page, or are there also a bunch to the history, talk and talk-history pages?

      • Eh, my first thought is spammers or affiliate marketers (yes, I'm repeating myself....).

        • by tattood ( 855883 )
          Wikipedia should be able to see from the HTTP referrer header whether the visits are coming from a link on another site or not. This should not be a mystery.
          • Spammers do weird things like flooding sites with fake referrers because the logs may appear publicly. I'm not saying it's even real traffic, necessarily, but yes, it should be obvious with some more investigation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anubis IV ( 1279820 )

      They mention that possibility in the article, but rule it mostly out on account of the fact that 95% of the traffic to the page is from mobile devices, which are fairly atypical for botnet attacks.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Atypical? That is completely invalid claim when you take into account that one of the biggest active botnet today actually runs out of infected Android phones.

      • Re:Botnet? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @03:22PM (#54749461)

        If it is on mobile I reckon it might be Chromes Awesomebar.

        People enter: xhamster which results in a google search. With safe search on wikipedia is the top entry.

        • by vux984 ( 928602 )

          That's was my first thought as well. But why the sudden spike then... chrome etc has operated that way for quite a while.

          I think the botnet c&c theory makes more sense to me; or some other virus related issue ... e.g. a misconfgured malware that is trying to direct people to xhamster but is instead ending up on the wikipedia page.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by sexconker ( 1179573 )

        They mention that possibility in the article, but rule it mostly out on account of the fact that 95% of the traffic to the page is from mobile devices, which are fairly atypical for botnet attacks.

        Other AC has a great counterpoint. I'll offer another: The Wikipedia servers have no fucking clue what type of host is requesting the page. Anyone can send any packet with any headers. A botnet operator has reason to deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate (S04E04).

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @11:44PM (#54753697) Homepage Journal

        an actual theory.

        some country recently blocked xhamster domain for xxx censorship reasons. the people used to going there for their mobile porn fix instead end up on the wikipedia page.

        if you duckduckgo xhamster the FIRST LINK is the wikipedia page.

    • My main theories are the following.
      Xhamster was commented as part of a news story or webcomic that had a population that just didn't get it so they looked it up.

      Xhamster did something to get better search results for a particular fetish so where it didn't show up it may had topped the search list. And people wanted to verify it as a legit porn site.

      • by Megane ( 129182 )
        About 15 years ago, a print comic (as in newspapers, remember them?) mentioned a name of a hypothetical web site for a joke. It basically matched the name of a domain that I have had since 2000. The initial spike wasn't much (like 100 hits a day for the first week, to nothing after the second week), but this was also 15 years ago, before every normie had a web browser in their pocket, especially the kids.
        • before every normie had a web browser in their pocket

          Just a friendly word of advice, but using the word "normie" makes you sound like a stupid fucking twat.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:50PM (#54749177) Journal
    It is called slashdot effect. It used to be huge, back in the day when people were the first to welcome the overlords and talking about how the government controls commerce in Soviet Union and people had check marked lists in fixed point font describing why the proposed spam fighting solutions won't work.
  • now that it's on Slashdot.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:56PM (#54749239)

    XHamster has started aggressively branding and marking the videos on their site. These videos are then uploaded elsewhere and suddenly, people see them. Given they started doing this about 2-3 months ago, it would coincide perfectly with this surge.

  • Malware/Dead drop (Score:4, Insightful)

    by henry.cow ( 126011 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:57PM (#54749255)

    Gut guess is the page being used to help infected clients find their C&C server, like this -

  • Probably for C&C (Score:5, Interesting)

    by wulfhere ( 94308 ) <slashdot@GAUSShu ... g minus math_god> on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @02:57PM (#54749257)

    Something like this is my guess: []

  • India? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    As a frequent visitor of xhamster I can say that in the last weeks a big amount of Indian porn was uploaded. See explanation #1 in source.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    If you use a family-friendly or filtered search engine like DuckDuckGo (on its default settings), if you search for a porn site you'll get its Wikipedia page, but not the site itself. I wonder if something like that is involved here.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      family-friendly or filtered search engine like DuckDuckGo

      Hmm. DuckDuckGo puts the Wikipedia entry way down near the bottom of the first page (in addition to the Wikipedia frame on the right). Google puts it at around #4. Both search engines return the web site URL first.

  • It shows up as the 4th link in the google results when I do a google search for 'xhamster' It could be even higher for certain users. What position did it show up at 2 months ago? My guess is that google changed their sorting algorithm to give wikipedia more prominence, articles more prominence, or something of the sorts. A large percentage of people search for websites instead of going directly to the url even if they know the url.

    • I wouldn't be surprised if a Wikipedia page shows up in the top 4 link of 1/3 of all Google searches. There is nothing unusual about that.

  • Viral advertising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LetterRip ( 30937 ) on Wednesday July 05, 2017 @03:24PM (#54749479)

    Perhaps the person 'noticing' the phenomenon, is the originator of the phenomenon and trying to increase traffic to the said porn sites by calling attention to this 'mystery'.

    • Almost correct. Its statistics.

      At any point in time, one of the millions of Wikipedia pages will experience a surge, just by luck. If you then look for the page with the greatest surge you will certainly find one. That's why statisticians use ANOVA.

  • Look at the page edits. There haven't been any edits in the last 6 months that look as if they could be hiding any information. There are some pretty stealthy forms of Steganography but I can't see any evidence of it on this page.
  • I didn't know what XHamster is, so I visited its Wikipedia page and... Oh, wait.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Maybe the bulk of the surge is for the same reason as my visit: Katy Perry came out with a new video that has a cute hamster in it ( When I searched Google for "Katy Perry hamster," I got a bunch of porn in my results - thanks to Google's helpful "search for what we think you meant rather than what you typed" algorithms.

    I went to wikipedia to try to figure out WTF was happening, since I wasn't familiar with XHamster. So blame Google's garbage algorithms and a
  • Just gotta find some way not to post any story about CNN

  • What's the parent company? Is there perhaps something going on with the stock? Maybe a market expansion planned?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Malware using the page to test it's internet connection.

  • I read the headline and expected a story about animated dancing rodents, set to a catchy MIDI tune.

    Ah, the good old days.

  • I wonder if someone or some malware is using the page as a dictionary.

    Like line x, letter y gives an encoded output somewhere.
  • ... who though - what, there is an xhamster?! i only know xteddy & xpenguin!

  • A new brand of IoT connected hamster wheels?

Things are not as simple as they seems at first. - Edward Thorp