August 2016: the internet was in uproar. Photos of a naked Orlando Bloom
were spreading across the internet and social media like wildfire. A hot topic which was discussed around plenty of coffee machines but a hell for the online marketers on the editorial teams of publications such as the Mirror, who posted the photos on their website. As the article was shared via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, email and other channels with no tags or URL parameters, it was impossible for them to trace where all the web traffic came from. It might look like ‘direct traffic’, but this is certainly not the case. In this article, we wish to highlight a phenomenon which is known in the trade jargon as dark social.