The top Google searches in South Africa this week included several hoaxes and fake news stories alongside Wimbledon, Game of Thrones, and Mandela Day.
Fake news such as Rowan Atkinson’s death, rumours that Oscar Pistorius had committed suicide, and MiWay circulating a racist e-mail to its agents featured prominently in South African search this week.
However, Game of Thrones, Roger Federer, and Mandela Day saw much greater search volumes than any of the fake news stories.
Google processes more than 40,000 search queries every second. Google trends data is updated hourly and is available on the Google Trends website.
Search trends in South Africa tend to be news and sports-driven, Google South Africa noted. People search for things they hear or see on the news, and sports search terms trend several times a week, on average, every week.
The following searches trended in South Africa this week:
- “Rowan Atkinson dead” (a hoax) trended on Saturday with over 5,000 searches.
- “Game of Thrones season 7” (50,000+ searches) trended on Sunday.
- “Roger Federer” (50,000+ searches) trended on Sunday after he won the Wimbledon Men’s Championship and became the first male tennis player to win 19 Grand Slam titles.
- “Mandela Day” (50,000+ searches) trended on Monday.
- “Oscar Pistorius Latest” (10,000+ searches) trended on Monday after rumours circulated he had committed suicide.
- “Morata” (10,000+ searches) trended on Thursday after footballer Alvaro Morata revealed why he decided to leave Real Madrid for Chelsea.
- “MiWay” (2 000+ searches) trended on Friday after the screenshot of a hoax internal mail circulated on social media.