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Photo: Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Last Tuesday, YouTube experienced an outage for about an hour, which according to new data from Chartbeat provided to Axios, resulted in a 20% net increase in traffic across Chartbeat sites.

The big picture: Chartbeat analyzed the YouTube outage using global traffic data across a sample of more than 4,000 sites which are Chartbeat customers. They found that about half of the increased traffic (11%) went to general articles on publisher sites, and the other half (9%) went to articles about the YouTube outage.

Why it matters: Like the Facebook outage this summer, this proves that when major tech companies that distribute the bulk of media traffic go down, the traffic flows back to the sites and apps of media publishers.

Reality check: From Nieman Lab's Joshua Benton on a previous analysis that we outlined last week from Chartbeat: "One thing this analysis by @chartbeat shows is that most news-seeking is not driven by some civic desire for community information — it's a gimme-something-new itch that can be met by news stories, FB updates, or, well, a lot of things on people's phones."

Between the lines: Chartbeat says there are a few potential reasons for why this had a bigger effect than the Facebook outage on Aug. 3:

  • YouTube is not normally a traffic driver to publishers. Unlike Facebook, YouTube is not a large referrer of traffic to publishers, Chartbeat says. As a result, the effect of people moving from YouTube to publisher sites during the outage was purely additive.
  • There's a day and time difference. Facebook's outage was on a Friday afternoon U.S. time. The YouTube outage, conversely, was on a Tuesday evening, which is prime entertainment consumption time.

By the numbers: In total, Chartbeat saw a 78% increase in app traffic and a 59% increase in search traffic during the hourlong outage.

  • By distribution type: Web traffic increased by 15%, app traffic increased by 78%, Google AMP traffic increased by 67%, Facebook Instant Articles traffic increased by 6%.
  • By device type: Desktop distribution increased by 13%, mobile distribution increased by 26%, and tablet distribution increased by 26%.
  • By referrer type: Direct traffic increased by 9%, link traffic increased by 28%, internal traffic increased by 13%, search traffic increased by 59%, and social traffic increased by 11%.

The bottom line:

"So far, we’ve seen there’s no single reaction when a platform goes down. Sometimes people are more apt to search for answers, sometimes they go directly to a news source they trust. The one thing we do know is that reader behavior shifts immediately and fiercely. When Facebook or YouTube, for example, goes dark, the rest of the internet comes alive."
— Su Hang, data scientist, Chartbeat

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DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."