Flash CrowdFlash Crowd
was the title of a 1973 short story by the science fiction author Larry Niven
, one of a series about the consequences of instantaneous, practically free teleportation
booths that could take one anywhere on Earth
One consequence, not predicted by the builders of the system, was that with the almost instantaneous reporting of newsworthy events, tens of thousands of people worldwide would flock to the scene of anything interesting-- along with criminals, hoping to exploit the instant disorder and confusion so created.
On the World Wide Web, a similar phenomenon can occur, when some web site catches the attention of a large number of people, and gets an unexpected and overloading surge of traffic: a notorious example is the Slashdot effect.
Another similar phenomenon is the Flash mob.
- "Flash Crowd" is on pages 99-164 of the paperback edition of The Flight of the Horse, copyright 1973 by Larry Niven. The story (or parts of it) were originally published as "Flash Crowd" in Three Trips in Time and Space, copyright 1973 by Robert Silverberg, ed.
- "The Last Days of the Permanent Floating Riot Club" are on pages 41-52 of the paperback edition of A Hole in Space, copyright 1974 by Larry Niven.
- Other stories in this series are in these two books, and in All the Myriad Ways.