Google Trends

Trends Regarding Sexual Assault

With the social climate in the United States surrounding the topic of sexual assault recently, it only seems rational that there have been spikes in Google searches for the more celebrity sexual predators: Dr. Larry Nassar and actor Aziz Ansari, especially in the last 30 days. Both men have been under scrutiny in this past month over their gross misconduct toward women.

Just four days ago, Nassar was sentenced to 175 years for assaulting over 150 women during his time as an athletic doctor. This is likely the reason why his name was searched for the most on January 24, the day of his now infamous sentencing. Judge Aquilina stated in court, “I just signed your death warrant.”

Nassar was previously a physician at Michigan State University, before he was a physician for the Women’s United States Gymnastics team, which may also explain why Michigan was the state that had the most Google searches for the doctor. With the amount of victims and overwhelming evidence, it is clear that Nassar was guilty of the crimes he was accused of.

Aziz Ansari, on the other hand, is a little bit of a different case. Although he too is an individual held in high esteem and social status, just like Nassar, not as many people were searching his name as much as they were Nassar, even at the peak of the Ansari scandal. Aziz was accused of forcing a woman to perform sexual acts on him following the post-Oscars celebrations.

The more details that emerged about the Ansari scandal, the more that the story seemed more of a misunderstanding (or stupidity) of both parties, and less of an actual crime worthy of being searched. Because the story was picked apart quickly, the trends in Google searches for Ansari quickly dwindled as did his “little” mishap.

Trends Regarding Suicide

In the last month, famous Viner and YouTube star, Logan Paul, made possibly the worst career move he could have ever made. In the transitioning days into 2018, Logan Paul posted a video in a Japanese forest, dubbed the “Suicide Forest” by locals. In this video, Paul and his companions come upon a dead, hanging body, to which they begin to laugh and make jokes at the man who killed himself, sparking outrage.

Since this incident, searches for both Logan Paul and suicide increased in the same time frame in the United States in the last month since the video came out. Although Paul has millions of teeny bopper fans (that are probably Google searching him on the daily), the trend following his name was quite low until this incident. Many fans rushed to his defense, but there is not much you can defend when making fun of someone taking their own life.

As malicious and disappointing as the Logan Paul video was, it sparked a very necessary conversation among people, especially Americans who make up most of his audience, to speak about suicide and mental health. In response to the hate he was receiving, Logan Paul even came out with a YouTube video on suicide prevention, which is too little too late (and incredibly phony).

In my opinion, he was more upset about YouTube demonetizing his videos than he was sorry for his actions and disrespect to the man in the video. However, being a personal advocate for mental health, I am glad that someone did something so stupid that it helped others to try to be more knowledgeable about suicide, based on the patterns of the searches of the topic.

 

 

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Practice Story

Gov. Pat Quinn talks about MAP grants at DePaul University. (Photo by Josclynn Brandon)

 

Editor’s note: This story was originally posted on Dec. 12, 2012 and is housed at RedLineProject.org. It’s been repurposed with permission for this assignment:

By Bob Smith

Gov. Pat Quinn visited DePaul University’s Loop campus on Wednesday to discuss how pension reform is harming the Monetary Award Program (MAP) college scholarships and access to higher education in Illinois.

“This is so important to our state, not only in the past, but certainly now and in the future,” Quinn said. “We want everyone to have the opportunity to go to college that has the ability to go to college.”

MAP grants are need-based college scholarships that allow merit students who are in need across the state and do not need to be repaid by the student. Quinn said that due to cutbacks and having to pay more money in the pension amount, almost 18,000 students lost their MAP grant scholarships this year.

“We do not want anyone denied that opportunity because of finances,” Quinn said. “We can’t afford to lose all the talent that exists, all the ability that exists for higher education to help our economy and to help all of us, because there are financial challenges that deny someone the opportunity to go to community college or a four-year university — public and private — in our state.”


Quinn was joined by several Illinois college students, including DePaul Student Government Association Vice President Casey Clemmons.

“Every year over 5,000 DePaul students receive MAP grants, and just like the students who have already spoken here today, all of these DePaul students rely on this funding in order to continue their college careers,” Clemmons said.

“Because the number of Illinois students eligible to receive MAP is currently increasing, existing funding does not allow the state to assist all the eligible students. As a result, without action by the Illinois state leadership, more DePaul students than ever will see their MAP funding disappear this year and more

DePaul students than ever will be forced to give up their education due to finances.”

More than 150,000 students nationally receive MAP grants each year.

Clemmons told the audience that on Tuesday, DePaul’s SGA unanimously passed a resolution calling on the Illinois general assembly and the governor to ensure the longevity of the MAP program.  He read the resolution aloud and presented a copy to Quinn. 

 


Ken Thomas, a University of Illinois Board of Trustees student member, MAP recipient and University of Illinois Chicago student, told how he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for the MAP grant.

“My mom, when I was in high school, had to work two jobs just to keep food on the table,” Thomas said, “and if we didn’t have [the] MAP program like we do today, I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today; graduating with a degree, hoping to be a productive member of society.”

Having a productive and functioning society and economy is what Quinn says it’s all about.

“Jobs follow brainpower,” he said. “We want to make sure we have smart people in Illinois. Well skilled, well-educated students coming out of college with graduate degrees and diplomas so they can create jobs, create new businesses,” he said. “Our goal in Illinois is to have at least 60 percent of the adults in our state with a college degree or college associate degree or career certificate by the year 2025. In order to achieve we have to make sure we have a good scholarship program.”

Clemmons said that in order for that to happen, state legislatures need to reflect upon the question, “What must be done?” and do what’s required.