As parts of South Africa crumbled under pressure brought on by looting and rioters, panic ensured. Malls went up in smoke, small businesses were destroyed and sadly, over 200 people lost their lives. Citizens took to the streets, defending what is theirs – something the government and defence forces (police included) failed to do. Emulating the turbulent times that gripped SA during the riots, are the Google search habits. Through Google Analytics, Charles Smith of ShaIzwe Communications illustrates how alarming search terms such as “how to make a bomb” and “molotov cocktails” popped in the week of civil unrest. Other search terms, including “gun”, “firearm” and “pepper spray” also became more prevalent in the violent week. – Jarryd Neves
By Charles Smith of ShaIzwe Communications*
With the intensity of the looting in South Africa increasing from about Monday 13th July and continuing for about a week, people took to Google to search using a number of concerning keywords such as “Molotov cocktails”, and “how to make a bomb”.
Google Trends is a free service that reports on how often a particular search term is entered into Google, relative to the total search volume over a period of time, and across geographic regions.
A Google Trend keyword will have a value of 0 if the search term or keyword has a low volume relative to previous searches,…