In late April 2021, social media posts, like the one showed below, Google users apparently asked the online search engine “how to a struck a female so now one knows” more frequently during the very first stage of lockdowns to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in 2020 than during the exact same amount of time the previous year.
The claim originated from media sources including Blavity (a Los Angeles-based platform serving Black millennials), UNILAD (a British media outlet), and MSNBC (an American cable network owned by NBC Universal).
We got an archived version of an April 26 viewpoint column by the latter outlet, a piece of commentary that pointed out peer-reviewed research evaluating Google searches from the start of the U.S. COVID-19 break out in March 2020 to the end of August that year. The MSNBC post stated:
[Millions] of men seem doing some extremely specific research study about how to assault the ladies around them.
Released in The Journal of General Psychology, the research study was led by Katerina Standish, the deputy director and senior lecturer at the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand. How to strike a woman so no one understands was typed into Google 163 million times, a 31 percent boost compared to 2019.
In other words, Google users supposedly browsed “how to hit a woman so nobody understands” 163 million times between March and August 2020, and that number was 31 percent greater than the quantity of same searches throughout those months the previous year.
One day after the MSNBC column released, observers determined defects in the researchs method, and its author validated the findings were inaccurate. As a result, the news outlet got rid of the above-transcribed section from its short article mentioning the research.
By utilizing the separate Google Trends search engine– a tool that puts together data for Google search inquiries worldwide– we discovered that relatively no one utilized the website to search for information on “how to strike a woman so no one knows,” including during the time window referenced in the research study (March to August 2020).
Next, we looked at Google search data ourselves. By searching the expression “how to strike a female so nobody understands,” the platform produces billions of returns– or websites or posts which contain those keywords. That is not the like the number of times users browsed the question (we describe how to discover that amount listed below), and it appeared to grow considerably after the MSNBC short article and other media protection.
To totally explore the problem, we reached out to Standish (the author of the study called, “COVID-19, femicide, and suicide: Rapid Research using Google search phrase”) to find out about her research process and its imperfections. We have yet to receive an action however we will upgrade this report when, or if, we do.
On April 27, Standish said on Twitter:
If you or somebody you understand is experiencing abuse from an intimate partner, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 (SAFE) or text LOVEIS to 22522 for anonymous, confidential assistance.
One day after the MSNBC column published, onlookers identified flaws in the researchs methodology, and its author confirmed the findings were unreliable. Next, we looked at Google search information ourselves. By searching the phrase “how to hit a female so no one knows,” the platform produces billions of returns– or websites or posts that include those keywords. That is not the exact same as the number of times users searched the concern (we describe how to find that amount listed below), and it appeared to grow substantially after the MSNBC article and other media coverage.
In amount, we rate this claim “false”– millions of people, presumably males, did not turn to Google for help to relatively conceal physical abuse versus their female partners throughout the early months of the pandemic.
” The very first time I googled these terms my heart avoided … I was stunned,” she continued. “I all the best apologise and will apologize.”.