Seth Stephens Davidowitz (2017) everybody lies. What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are.

Google announced they would delete data. Algorithms rule the world. And their algorithm made Sergey Brin and Larry Page the richest men in the world. That’s the equivalent of an oil company announcing it would no longer produce petrol. Google would not cooperate with law officials who sought to prosecute women seeking abortion in lieu of Roe versus Wade after searching online, using Google.

Google is a noun and verb. Google trends offer the searcher anonymity. What we type into an internet search engine (Google) tells us who we are. Netflix’s algorithm, for example, offer the films we like based not on our stated preferences—we lie about the type of movies we watch—but on what we’ve actually watched. It’s become a cliché to state that these companies and corporations know us better than ourselves.

Davidowitz, in his introduction, ‘The Outlines of a Revolution’, put this to the test.

‘In the 2016 Republican primaries, polling experts concluded that Donald Trump did not stand a chance.’

We all know how and when the moron’s moron was elected. Google Trends, introduced in 2009, which counts how often a word or phrase is used, but also monitors locations and time.

Conventional wisdom painted the United States a multiracial society with the election of Barack Obama. Race didn’t matter.

‘Nigger,’ ‘Nigga,’ ‘Niggers,’ was typed into the Google search-engine on the night of Obama’s win.

‘There was a darkness and hatred that was hidden from traditional sources, but was quite apparent in the searches people made.’

Google search-engine also showed a different pattern to conventional media wisdom. It was taken as a truism that racism was a problem of the South. Good old boys. Those were white and Republican districts. ‘Nigger’ searches with the highest rates also included upstate New York, rural Illinois, West Virginia, southern Louisiana and Mississippi. Not a North versus South divide, but East versus West.

Data proved, retrospectively, that in states with a high number of racist enquiries about ‘niggers’ Obama did worse.  Davidowitz suggests Obama lost around four percent of the vote for explicitly racist reasons.

His loss was the moron’s moron’s gain. A map of racism mapped out by the term ‘nigger’. The strongest correlation was between Trump and his support was the use of a word we dare not speak its name.

The moron’s moron’s legacy lives on in a number of areas, including misogyny. Overturning Roe versus Wade. Davidowitz also offers a map of what women of child-bearing years and living in the dis-United States can expect.

‘In 2015, in the United States, there were more than 700 000 Google searches looking into self-induced abortion. By comparison, there were some 3.4 million searches for abortion clinics that year. That suggests that a significant percentage of women considering an abortion contemplated doing it themselves.

Search rates for self-induced abortion were fairly steady from 2004 through 2007. They began to rise in late 2008, coinciding with the financial crisis and the recession that followed. They took a big leap in 2011, jumping 40 percent…ninety-two state provisions that restrict access.

Looking by comparison at Canada, which has not seen a crackdown on reproductive rights, there were no comparable increases in searches for self-induced abortions during that time.’    

Google declines to share data. Google destroys data. In Google we trust. The moron’s moron’s legacy lives on. Expect a tsunami of death and dying of young coloured girls. But you don’t need to be coloured. All you need to be is poor. God help us.  We don’t need Google or Davidowitz to tell us that.

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