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The slashdot effect refers to a temporary surge in traffic to a website, which can occur when a high-traffic website posts a link to smaller site or blog, thus directing an unprecedented surge in traffic. If the traffic increase is very large, it slow the site down or make it unreachable. The site is then considered to have been "slashdotted."
This term is believed to have originated from the website slashdot.org, a technology news site that posts links to other sites to introduce a news item of interest. This can result in a large influx of traffic for these sites in a short amount of time. Sites without adequate server support may not be able to handle the traffic, causing them to become unavailable.
This phenomenon has been reported in relation to a number of websites, including Drudge Report, Reddit, Digg and even Twitter accounts with a large number of followers.