Google knows all our dirty secrets.
Think about it. If you commissioned a telephone survey to find out how many people enjoyed Japanese fart porn, very few people would admit to the survey taker that they were among its admirers. Though, Google search data might prove that there actually are a big hunk of people out there searching for Japanese fart porn.
So, while very few people would openly admit to being flat-out racist, a study by a Harvard PhD candidate suggests that we can get a window into the geography of racial animosity based on Google search information.
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz study was published back in June, and its main directive is to discover how President Obama's race may have disadvantaged him in the reelection. Using a thorough set of data, and comparing the results to the 2004 election, Stephens-Davidowitz concludes that Obama's vote percentage could have been about 3 to 5 percent higher if he was white.
To come to the conclusion, the PhD candidate had to analyze racially charged Google searches by geography. He examined how much people search for the "n-word" or its plural. He found that the word was often put into google alongside other words like "jokes" and "hate." You can read more about the methods here.
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Turns out that Florida is more racist than 38 other states and the District of Columbia. Yes, when it comes to typing "N**er" into Google, we're the 12th overall. We're sandwiched in between Tennessee and New York. West Virginia takes the top spot, followed by Louisiana. Hawaii meanwhile is 50th, while Utah comes in last at 51st.
The paper also analyzed search for racial animosity through searches by media market. Darker reds mean more racial animosity; lighter reds mean less.
Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, while less racist then most of the rest of the state, isn't exactly on the lower end compared to the country at large.