Blog Ipsa Loquitur

I’m not usually one for op-eds, but The Rise of Hate Search, by Evan Soltas and Seth Stephens-Davidowitz in the New York Times, is pretty stunning:

There are thousands of searches every year, for example, for “I hate my boss,” “people are annoying” and “I am drunk.” Google searches expressing moods, rather than looking for information, represent a tiny sample of everyone who is actually thinking those thoughts.

There are about 1,600 searches for “I hate my boss” every month in the United States. In a survey of American workers, half of the respondents said that they had left a job because they hated their boss; there are about 150 million workers in America.

In November, there were about 3,600 searches in the United States for “I hate Muslims” and about 2,400 for “kill Muslims.” We suspect these Islamophobic searches represent a similarly tiny fraction of those who had the same thoughts but didn’t drop them into Google.

In 2016, there aren’t a lot of things more personal and intimate than what we search for online. (Relevant XKCD)