Concerning Google Trends during SA Riots

Concerning Search Trends Over The South African Riots

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, and 100 if it is trending, ie it is experiencing an increase in the average number of searches.

How to make a bomb

Concerning Search Trends Over The South African Riots 1

People began googling the phrase ‘how to make a bomb’ in early July 2021 with a second peak around Thursday 8th July, then on Monday 12th July.

Molotov cocktail

Concerning Search Trends Over The South African Riots 2

Molotov cocktail trended in KZN on the 23rd April 2021 and again on Thursday 8th July

Keywords such as “self-defence guns”, “firearm”, “protest”, “Durban protest today” showed a dramatic increase in searches, which was expected.

Concerning Search Trends Over The South African Riots 3

Pepper spray showed an increase, specifically in Northwest, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal. Another keyword ‘buy guns’ and topics around firearms increased 350% in searches.

The topic around Firearms had a 350% increase in searches.