Stop Using Google Trends
And we can see this with the most recent Google Trends Freaking Outrage (GTFO), like this Washington Post story titled “The British are frantically Googling what the E.U. is, hours after voting to leave it.”
They note that searches about the EU tripled. But how many people is that? Are they voters? Are they eligible to vote? Were they Leave or Remain? Trends doesn’t tell us, all it does is give us a nice graph with a huge peak. More likely, it’s a very small number of people, based on this graph that puts it in context with other searches in the region:
But it’s giving plenty of people cover to insult the entire country, when it’s likely just a few people searching for something in a way that they always search for something. It makes “The British are frantically Googling what the EU is, hours after voting to leave it” absurdly disingenuous without better numbers. Remy Smith points this out: The peak was merely ~1000 people! It’s ludicrous that so few people get turned into a massive story, but it underscores the need for context.