LII’s Social Summer
Much was happening across the country this summer and the Legal Information Institute has the stats to prove it. Thanks in large part to our presidential candidates and professional athletes, 25,672 websites linked the Legal Information Institute as a cited source.
This summer alone we have had over 7 million new users brought to our site. Although a majority of those users come from organic search (thank you, Google), almost 1 million of them have been led to us by referral (thank you, bloggers, journalists and most importantly Social Media). When it comes to referral traffic, social media brings 42% of it to the LII and just shy of 50% of overall new users. On average, we receive 1,500 social referrals a day; however, certain days this summer, we received spikes as high as 50,000 social referrals in 24 hours. The top social network that contributes to this data is Facebook. Below is a list of our mentions on the World Wide Web based on what was happening in the news.
We saw our first major spike of the summer in early July when FBI Director, James Comey recommended no criminal charges be filed against Hillary Clinton over using a private email server. In so many words, Comey’s statement suggested that Clinton did not violate the Espionage Act, which was then viewed over 57,000 times on our website. This decision led to 54,000 Americans quoting, sharing, and writing their opinion on the matter while linking to LII’s reference of 18 U.S. Code § 793. Ultimately this section of the U.S. Code resulted as the third most visited page on our website this summer.
In the second week of August we pick up another spike of 120,000 social sessions, mainly due to Donald Trump suggesting that “Second Amendment people” could prevent Hillary Clinton from appointing new federal judges. When word broke, our entry on the Second Amendment from our Wex online resource, reached second place for the most visited page on our website. Trump’s statement became a major headliner in the news as his suggestion was viewed threatening. Threats against a former President or an immediate family member of a former President falls under 18 U.S. Code § 879, which was linked in news articles and social media outlets generating over 100,000 pageviews between August 9th and 10th.
A third spike occurred from 68,000 social sessions to 36 U.S. Code § 301 – National Anthem. This statute also happens to be the top landing page of the summer. Athletes such as Gabby Douglas and Colin Kaepernick certainly accounted for its sudden popularity. Overall this page has collected 153,000 pageviews and counting as more athletes begin to join in what started as Kaepernick’s solitary protest.
As is evident from above, traffic from social media increases greatly when it comes to trending controversial topics in the news. Links in social media are a classic example of something we have always ardently believed–that the public discourse is enriched and improved by the availability of primary source materials such as the US Code and the Constitution. We are thrilled to be a go-to source for reliable and valid reference material, and your involvement with us helps ensure that will continue to be the case.