Professor Tobie Meyer-Fong was recently interviewed about the Chinese historical fantasy drama Yanxi Palace for a BBC documentary called “The World According to Search.”
What can we learn about a culture from what they search online? From xenophobia in Nigeria, shut-in teenagers in Japan, India’s biometric identity card, and the creation of viral TikTok slang, we look at the search trends that have come to define us. Ben Arogundade investigates what the most popular searches reveal about our approach to death, dating, and digital identity.
Tech journalist Nilesh Christopher tell us that India’s pandemic searches may be more complicated than they first appear, and Peruvian writer María José Osorio muses on a strangely nostalgic query that was among one of Peru’s most frequently probed questions online.
Internet searches are often surprisingly intimate, leading to broader questions about cultural beliefs, political attitudes, and algorithmic bias. We hear from Safiya Noble, a scholar looking at Google’s search engine and whether it might be replicating racial stereotypes online.
We hear from black bookshop owner Carolynn Bain about Black Lives Matter search queries, speak to a German botanist about disinformation, and learn about a cancelled Chinese TV show that has been crowned the most Googled TV program in the world. Does search data reveal a globalised, homogenous view of online culture, or a more fragmented and localised picture of the world around us?