Standing Rock, Winnipeg Raging Grannies, And The Women Of Kerala

Gopal Sathe

BENGALURU, Karnataka— Hundreds of thousands of women joined hands in the state of Kerala to form a “Women’s wall” as the year began. It was a powerful moment, as a 620 km long chain of women stretched from the northern tip of the state in Kasaragod to the southern end in Thiruvananthapuram on the first day of the new year. So when HuffPost India shared a clutch of stories on the women’s wall, we weren’t surprised to see significant interest from our readers.

But after two days of coverage, traffic to one particular story suddenly spiked. Much to our surprise, there were nearly 50 times as many international readers as Indian ones—which we first assumed were Indians living abroad.

We decided to take a closer look, and were surprised by what we found. Some of the pages sharing the story included Standing Rock Dakota Access Pipeline Opposition, Biblioteca Feminista, Indivisible Houston, World Wide Women, Women’s March On Raleigh, and Rural Organizing Project, and—evocatively—Winnipeg Raging Grannies for Social Justice.

How did they find our story?

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Finding the source

The numbers were telling us that the readers were coming from Facebook—but they weren’t clicking on the links that we’d shared directly.

Neither was there a single big page that had shared the HuffPost India article. Instead, the link had...

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