Google Trends: Black Lives Matter Breaks Away From The Pack, Is Biden Being Covered Fairly
Black Lives Matter Sees Huge Spike In Web Searches
Civil rights organization and social movement, Black Lives Matter, experienced a huge spike in web searches following the death of black American, George Floyd on May 25th, 2020. Throughout the past 12 months, Black Lives Matter shared similar traffic as searches for “All Lives Matter” and “Make America Great Again”. Online these phrases have proven to be divisive and frequently used in response to one another, but the enormous uptick in searches for “Black Lives Matter” versus the barely noticeable change in searches for “All Lives Matter” in the same time frame may be a sign of the growing awareness of racial and social injustices in the US.
The slogan “All Lives Matter” — used as a criticism to Black Lives Matter — has not been able to gain the same traction although currently it’s search results surpasses Black Lives Matter by 10 million.
Is The Media Covering Presidential Hopeful, Joe Biden, Fairly?
In a May 22nd interview with Charlamagne tha God, co-host of the radio show The Breakfast Club, Presidential Democratic nominee, Joe Biden said, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” This comment was initially met with criticism. Later that day, while discussing his comments with the US Black Chamber of Commerce, Biden said, “I shouldn’t have been so caviler.” Many online articles online like the Washington Post’s article claiming the comment was clearly a joke and The Hill’s article that attacks Republican’s for Biden’s choice of words seemingly focused on Biden’s response in a positive light and had less coverage in the days that followed.
After the Presidential candidate made the racist remark on The Breakfast Club, Google Trends shows searches for “you ain’t black” experienced an increase, but only temporarily and then quickly returned to zero. While in contrast, current President Donald Trump (R), had publicly made a comment about his conspiracy theory surrounding Joe Scarborough days prior to Biden’s comment and saw a huge influx beating out searches for “you ain’t black” within days of Biden’s interview. Because Trump’s conspiracy theory points to no known facts, online articles that discuss Trump’s comments on Joe Scarborough frequently use negative buzz-words and this may play into the additional searches.
A look at searches for the phrases “Trump racist” and “Biden racist” shows both experienced a jump around May 22nd with “Biden racist” slightly higher. Following those spikes “Biden racist” immediately fell while “Trump racist” fell and then rose again a short time later. The question is: How is media coverage affecting searches and is that coverage fair?