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Stupid Google Tricks

A map of Internet searches that tells us...absolutely nothing.

3:08 PM, Apr 30, 2014 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
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A graphic that is ricocheting around the liberal blogosphere this week is purported to demonstrate–what else?–how stupid and ignorant Americans are. (Well, non-Democrat Americans presumably.)

The image, which has been breathlessly promoted on blogs from coast to coast, shows that American Internet users search the term “Global Warming Fake” more often than denizens of other countries do. Here is the allegedly damning image, provided originally by Google Zeitgest, which shows relative search volume by country for the term:

This chart might tell us something meaningful...if the world were monolingual. The breathless bloggers seem to have forgotten that Internet users in Beijing or Bratislava or Bordeaux are highly unlikely to conduct a Google search in English. And even looking solely at the Anglosphere, the data reveal nothing more than that Americans like using the word "fake." The term "Global Warming Myth," it turns out, is searched by our brethren in Canada and the United Kingdom almost as much as it is by Americans. But the truly flawed analysis here is the failure to recognize that Googling a term does not mean that the searcher agrees with it. In essence, all this image shows is that Americans happen to speak English and that they’re interested in the global warming debate. For this they are to be castigated? 

As it happens, I went over to Google Zeitgeist myself and had a look at what country searches “Global Warming True” the most. You can see the results below. As you’ll note, the fraught liberal bloggers can rest easy knowing that their country is not as benighted and primitive as they had feared:

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