These election Google search trends will make you want to cancel the internet

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Saturday 14 December 2019 16:00
news

We agree with everyone else on the planet that Google is probably the best thing to ever happen to us, but there are certain things we ideally need to work out without its help.

One such issue would be who to vote for. While algorithms can help with a lot of things, this is probably an exception.

Yet it seems lots of people do think that the answer to exercising their democratic right lies in a search engine.

According to Google Trends, searches for "who should I vote for" spiked in the week before the election.

(Google Trends)

So what exactly were the results?

Hard do say, as it will depend on people's search history and when exactly they were googling, but currently the top result is this BBC article which links out to an interactive manifesto comparison tool.

While questions have been raised about the BBC's impartiality during the campaigns, it's still probably one of the least politically biased media outlets out there.

After that the results get a little murkier.

The second one goes straight to a quiz which promises to match you to the right candidate depending on how you answer a series of policy questions such as "The rail network in the UK should be returned to public ownership (renationalised)" or "cannabis should be legalised".

While this makes sense in principle, it's concerning because it doesn't allow for nuance of opinion, ranking of importance (you may care a lot more about renationalising ralways than legalising cannabis") or tactical voting.

The next results are from openly partisan media outlets - namely The Telegraph and The Sun, which both openly endorsed Boris Johnson.

While people are pondering what happened in the election, perhaps it's worth considering how exactly people decided who to vote for, not just why they did so.

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