The latest claim is that we’re all using the search engines – Google is the exemplar – to show how antisemitic we are. The problem here being that it’s not in fact possible for a search to be pro- or anti- anything. If I or you search for “No more broccoli” are we thereby signalling our intent to never let the beastly stuff pass our lips? Thereby triggering protests from the Broccoli Growers of America? Or are we researching George Bush, the one who just died? The one who used the power of the Presidency to finally get over his mother’s having force fed him the stuff?
Quite, there’s no manner in which we can divine the purpose or meaning of any one search. The string “Kill all the Jews” could be a search for evidence to back the exhortation – or to refute it. Actually, given the way these things work we might well think that the preponderance will be the latter. One person says it, thousands wonder what the heck he’s on about.
This thus looks like very dodgy research indeed:
Britons make 170,000 antisemitic Google searches a year, study finds
Research shows 10% of these searches involve violent phrases such as ‘Jews must die’
Seriously, there’s just no way of knowing what prompts the searches therefore no manner of identifying the antisemitism.
Though the report acknowledged “it is impossible to know for sure that any given search is made by a person with antisemitic attitudes”, it said people tend to be far more open when they search for something online, revealing prejudices, hatreds and interests they might otherwise have kept hidden.
It’s not just that we don’t know the attitudes of the people making the search, we don’t know why they’re making it either. For example:
The research also pointed to an enduring fascination with conspiracy theories about the role of the Rothschild banking family in “running the world”.
I’ve made that search more than once. Come to some claim that the Rothschilds have trillions in assets. Hunh? How have they misunderstood things to come up with that number? Thus off down the rathole to try and find out what they’re counting and how. Not that I ever have found how that calculation is done, it appears to be made up out of whole cloth.
And now to the real biggie here. Google processes some 1.2 trillion searches a year globally. The UK seems to be about 10% of Google’s business. So, roughly enough, we’d think 120 billion UK searches. So even the claim here, before all those definitional problems, is that 0.00014% of Google searches might be antisemitic in origin. Another way to give us an insight into the numbers, imagine some obsessive nutter. 1,000 searches on his subject a year? Three a day? Sure, why not. That means we’ve got 170 people doing that antisemitic searching. Some Stormfront fan does two or three searches a week to back up his nonsense? We’ve a whopping 1,700 antisemites polluting our culture. And they can’t all be in Momentum now, can they?
Sure, there’s more antisemitism than there ought to be in Britain. But this report itself, despite the large numbers being bandied about, shows that it’s a tiny problem. Actually, this report, despite that 170,000 antisemitic Google searches number, shows that it’s a very much smaller problem than it almost certainly is.