Googling as Social Data

The horrific tragedy of the April 2013 marathon bombing in Boston sent many people to the web.  In the four days after the bombing, total searches for news rose 50 to 160%, but total searches for religion dropped slightly.  Overall, the searches for churches have dropped by 15% since 2010, but searches for porn have increased by 83%.

Do these search patterns tell us something about the role of religion and how it is changing in today’s society? Check out the New York Times article at:

What interesting research question can you propose that you think could be answered with data on Google searches?

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