What Australians do online

The results of this survey are surprising… and a little disturbing.

What Australians do online

A number of geo-location tech companies have set out to map the Australian internet landscape, and the results are surprising… and a little disturbing. Consultant with Esri Australia Simon Jackson has mapped the density of tweets in languages other than English across Australia. The tweets were all sent over a nine-month period, between June 2013 and March 2014. He also mapped the density of tweets containing swear words. You can see the results in an interactive map on The Guardian website. To swap between the language and profanity maps, just click the little gear icon in the top right hand corner of the map.

According to the map’s creator, South Australia has the highest ratio of rude to non-rude tweets, and part of the Illawarra was the rudest suburb in Australia.

Vice is an international magazine which pulls no punches when it comes to publishing controversial stories. To discover which vices Aussies are most interested in looking up, it recently mapped, by state, the weird google searches Australians make.

The research unearthed some unsurprisingly disturbing results. Victorians are Googling heroin, beer, pancakes, kidnapping, vomit, cafes and the television show Two and a Half Men. Queenslanders are more interested in weed, nude beaches, mustaches, sex changes and psychics. Tasmanians are looking up dogs, cats, the moon landing, the apocalypse and male genitalia. South Australians are looking up Masterchef, how to get rich and various disturbing pornography we can’t name on this website. Sydneysiders are looking up lesbians, gay men, jihad, murder, hipsters, hacking and circumcisions. Western Australians are looking for free stuff, weight loss, meth (as in crystal meth), conspiracy theories and interracial sex. The Northern Territory has streamlined itself to drugs, alcohol and steroids. And what about Canberra? They’re only interested in Canberra and catering.

You can read the full breakdown of the weird search terms Australians are looking for in this article from Vice, but be warned, you’ll be getting the uncensored version, and it doesn’t paint a pretty picture. 

Worldwide it gets even weirder, with thousands of people looking up the following disturbing topics:

  • How to hide a dead body is searched by an average of 1000 people monthly
  • How to get away with murder is searched by an average of 1900 people monthly
  • How to make my cat love me is searched by an average of 390 people monthly
  • How to have an affair is searched by an average of 5400 people monthly
  • Why did I get married is searched by an average of 45,000 people monthly
  • How do I use Google is searched by an average of 1000 people monthly
  • How do I Google something is searched by an average of 4400 people monthly, using Google
  • Why do men have nipples is searched by an average of 18,000 people monthly

These statistics were compiled by Buzzfeed, and you can read more about the weird stuff people search for here


Opinion: What does it all mean?

While the above may seem amusing, it’s a clear indication that what you’re doing online is being captured and manipulated by giant multi-national companies keen to understand what makes you tick.

The recent instances of Facebook manipulating the news feeds of its users to alter their emotions and the dating site OKCupid admitting it deliberately matched incompatible members to obtain data on how well the site was working are, to say the least, worrying. But what is perhaps most concerning is that neither Facebook nor OKCupid seem to be in the least perturbed by this manipulation, suggesting it is indeed only the tip of the iceberg.

Data collection, data matching and algorithms are all part of a ‘black art’, which only a few people truly understand, leaving the average internet user without a hope of knowing whether their information is safe, or to what end it’s being used.

In Australia data matching is nothing new and has been used by Government agencies over the last few years to ascertain who may be making fraudulent benefit claims or submitting false tax returns. Being able to access details from bank accounts, online Government accounts and even who has been selling what on eBay, means that it’s only a matter of time before those who are trying to rort the system are caught out.

So beware, Big Brother, Sister and the rest of the nosey, all-seeing family is watching.

What do you think? Do these surveys of Australian internet usage concern you? Does it worry you to know people are watching, or is it comforting that those doing the wrong thing can be caught out more rapidly?





    COMMENTS

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    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    9:38am
    NIPPLES are Popular !!
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    9:39am
    I know !! My Statement Sucks !!
    Kato
    31st Jul 2014
    11:40am
    Yes' but are they free.
    Pass the Ductape
    31st Jul 2014
    11:50am
    Good one particolor...
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    2:57pm
    Those Sydneysiders are weird Multicultural Lot and Need a Good Looking Into !!.
    Tom Tank
    31st Jul 2014
    9:49am
    It is only the tip of the iceberg. George Orwell was correct and Big Brother is watching us the only issue is - is it better that Big Brother is Government or Big Business.
    I rather think that it is in fact both.
    There is "owt for nowt" in this world and this is the price we pay for our modern technology.
    Scary isn't it!!!
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    10:02am
    Well lets just say that Our Government is a Cake !! Do You want it with Icing ? Or just a Plain Old Cake ??....
    Kato
    31st Jul 2014
    12:04pm
    only if Julie ices it.
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    2:43pm
    I think She might Ice it with Nail Polish ??
    Dukki
    31st Jul 2014
    9:49am
    I don't tweet at all. I don't come under any if the categories, so where dies that leave me, ? An individual. I hope !
    Bookworm
    31st Jul 2014
    12:36pm
    Good for you, Dukki. Twitter is for twits! So is Facebook. Get out in the fresh air, smell the flowers, enjoy life. Life Choices is the only website I bother to reply to.
    Jennie
    31st Jul 2014
    12:49pm
    Hi Bookworm! I wonder it my comment will be censored, but here's a try. A British politician said, in public of course, "How many tweets make a twat."
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    3:07pm
    Twasnt the Tweets Wot Tickled Im Pink !
    Twas the Twittering Twits Wot Replied !!
    Abby
    4th Aug 2014
    2:15pm
    Dukki
    If you look at the side of the page there will be adds there
    These will be different to the ones I get at the side of the page
    You are being tracked as all of us and different adds will try to hone in on all our individual interests.
    Anonymous
    5th Aug 2014
    8:10am
    I have never seen the point of Twitter or Facebook for me personally. If I want to contact someone I email them or ring up.

    Photographs on the internet are a no no for me too.
    Innyoo
    31st Jul 2014
    10:16am
    just shows that the people who use tweets etc are weird..... there are a lot of people who don't have time to be spending on that.... so it is not a real indication of what the population is like, though there is a lot of scary stuff in that list.
    btony
    31st Jul 2014
    11:52am
    Judge Marilyn says 'say it , forget it ,write it , regret it'.
    every computer and has spyware, we are always being watched.
    Aussie (Canadian) Mogul gold medallist a few years back, Dale Begg-Smith made millions from computer spyware.
    Kato
    31st Jul 2014
    12:14pm
    As for being watched who needs a computer I got neighbour's.
    Adrianus
    31st Jul 2014
    11:52am
    Good morning, good afternoon and just in case I don't see you later....good night!
    Kato
    31st Jul 2014
    12:02pm
    And from him.
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    2:58pm
    Off to Report ??
    Pass the Ductape
    31st Jul 2014
    11:54am
    Yes it does concern me.....and it should concern everyone else too. Eventually, we all be completely dis-empowered - and the life as an individual will never be realised.
    Kato
    31st Jul 2014
    12:18pm
    Ductape - yes you are right but alas we are to late, trying to be an Individual these day's comes at your own peril.
    ozimarco
    31st Jul 2014
    1:00pm
    I actually feel more empowered now than ever. Thirty years ago, when I had an opinion on something, I would tell my family and a few people I came into contact with, such as workmates and friends. Now I can reach thousands of people. I can rate and make comments on products, services, etc.
    I embrace technology rather than resist it. To those who are pining for the way things used to be, I say "Forget it! That time is gone. It will never come back."
    Adrianus
    31st Jul 2014
    11:58am
    Cant believe the Tasmanians are only just catching up on the moon landing? Also surely they must know what the male anatomy looks like? What's with that?
    Kato
    31st Jul 2014
    12:01pm
    Frank - maybe they are cranky that the map was left off the uniform for the games.
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    3:13pm
    Frank.. They couldn't see the Moon for the Trees !! But its OK now The Libs are cutting them all down for Pulp !!.. But as for the Perving they never said which Gender was doing it ??
    Adrianus
    31st Jul 2014
    4:11pm
    I did spend some time down there and I have a feeling that many Tasmanians still blame Murdoch for that hoax, so some research is probably a good thing. I don't know? God (and the internet) only knows what goes on down there.
    mick, what state are you from?
    particolor
    4th Aug 2014
    7:17pm
    Frank..Mick must be on Holidays ??...But Im in a State of SHOCK !!
    Adrianus
    5th Aug 2014
    8:29am
    People like mick don't take holidays. He would be attending the monthly Independents Democratic Ideology Of Tasmania Seminar. I think the agenda this month includes "the moon landing," "Discussion on scats of Foxes and Tigers," and everyone's favourite, "What is Tony Abbott up to now."
    A real pity to miss IDIOTS, but you cant go to everything.
    Kato
    31st Jul 2014
    12:12pm
    Of course Santa is real why would you google him/her.
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    4:38pm
    I did and got Santa Fe ?? I said look here I want a Sleigh not a Stage Coach ??
    Polly Esther
    31st Jul 2014
    12:38pm
    Proof positive that another useful topic for many to google is WWW howtogetalife.com.au
    Kato
    31st Jul 2014
    4:07pm
    Doc - that's a bit under the radar.
    Adrianus
    31st Jul 2014
    4:52pm
    doc you can stop using the www. Many people stopped that 10 years ago.
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    4:58pm
    Yes Wobble Dot is as Extinct as Honest Politicians !!
    tango18
    31st Jul 2014
    5:16pm
    What happened to the rest of NSW it only mentions Sydneysiders - it seems we matter as much to the researchers as we do to the State Government. Or is this editing by YLC?
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    5:29pm
    Us Bush Peeps know that its only NSW ..Newcastle Sydney-Wollongong ??!!
    Adrianus
    31st Jul 2014
    5:36pm
    I don't know that they have your exact location. If you lived in say Dubbo your ISP would be in Sydney wouldn't it? Correct me if I'm wrong?
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    5:46pm
    And Your IQ would be ....
    Correct Me if I'm Right !
    Adrianus
    31st Jul 2014
    6:41pm
    Your IQ is a measurement of how well you handle insulting behaviour. :)
    particolor
    31st Jul 2014
    6:56pm
    Impervious !
    Ballgameskeith
    31st Jul 2014
    7:33pm
    "How do I Google something is searched by an average of 4400 people monthly, using Google" Bawhawhawhaw !!
    Grumpy 1
    1st Aug 2014
    7:39am
    Why is that every other tweet comes from a State but here in NSW it only comes from Sydney? We have always know that everything revolves around Sydney. Just ask our state political leaders.
    particolor
    1st Aug 2014
    8:59am
    You cant even get a Local Bus out of them Outside of SYDNEY !! Stop paying TAX !!.
    They will only Dig another Tunnel under SYDNEY with it and then CHARGE YOU to use it ??
    Gazman
    1st Aug 2014
    8:08am
    Frank, Try this if you think they (and Big Brother) don't know the almost exact location of your IP address. It Depends where your nearest server/exchange is.

    http://www.ip-address.org/
    Adrianus
    1st Aug 2014
    8:48am
    OK, I'm convinced Gazman. I guess I always knew that all online computers are connected it's just a matter of having the key to the universal lock, so to speak. Why then are we so concerned about reverse telephone books?
    Abby
    4th Aug 2014
    2:27pm
    Frank
    I suppose you would be able to find out who has been ringing your phone

    What I would like to know is why one has to have their name in the phone book - I have to pay for the phone - why should it be accessible to everyone ? Yes you can have it removed but then they charge you a fee every year.
    particolor
    4th Aug 2014
    7:14pm
    Abby ..they don't miss You do they ???
    Adrianus
    5th Aug 2014
    7:06am
    *Abby, just cancel your land line and go mobile. I think it's an absolute rip off for Telstra to charge so much for line rental.
    bookwyrm
    12th Aug 2014
    4:24am
    I googled ‘my cat loves me‘. Cats have to be trained to be affectionate or come from an affectionate cat breed. I recently looked after an ultra affectionate cat for two weeks. It just wanted to be with me 24/7. When I watched TV he would climb into my lap and cuddle and kiss me. Unfortunately this breed, the exotic shorthair or shorthaire Persian, costs $1000. Otherwise I would get one.
    particolor
    12th Aug 2014
    7:25am
    My Big Ginger Cat costs Me roughly 30 Bucks a fortnight now just to feed Him ??..
    But He's a Good Boy !!
    bookwyrm
    12th Aug 2014
    3:44pm
    I have a soft spot for big ginger boys. One used to visit me daily in a house I used to live in. This cat I just cat sat was a big pale ginger boy, though a pedigree one. Well, I‘ll keep my mind open about having a cat but just not at the moment.


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