Monday, March 1, 2021

This image is having (mysteriously) 90 million hits per day

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The Symphyotrichum novi-belgii flowering plant

At first glance, it looks like a simple photograph of a flower. But on the other side of the world, more precisely in India, it has become a great success. Although no one really knows why.

According to the website IFLScienceearlier this week, Wikipedia noticed that the image was generating a giant wave of traffic – 90 million hits per day – in one of data centers the platform.

“Look at this mystery yet to be solved. 20% of all requests from one of our data centers are for this photo ”, Chris Albon, director of machine learning of this online encyclopedia.

According to the same website, a publication in the Phabricator pointed out that the image was getting access from several Internet service providers in India. So it was clear that the traffic was coming from a mobile application extremely popular in that country.

Many of the photographs presented on Wikipedia come from Wikimedia Commons, a repository of images that can be freely reused, therefore, explains the IFLScience, a popular app is likely to contain a direct link to the image.

Some research revealed that the large amount of traffic was being directed to a server in Singapore, since July 2020. Before that, the image only had a few hundred hits per day. Suddenly, it went from hundreds to millions of daily hits.

Wikipedia has not yet revealed the name of the application, but some are already committed to analyzing all the clues that could lead to its identity.

It should be noted that the dramatic increase in the popularity of this photograph occurred in June last year, at the same time that the Indian Government decided banir o TikTok. This fact led some users to speculate that the image may have been used by HiPi, the new Indian platform for short videos, or by a mirror of the original TikTok so that people can still access the platform’s content, despite the ban.

Others have advanced the theory that the image of the flower may have something to do with India’s covid-19 tracking application, since the number of requests was very high.

ZAP ZAP //

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This image is having (mysteriously) 90 million hits per day