Once we identified the controversy we noticed a bias between the news selection and how the media spread them. We decided to move from the agenda setting area to the analysis of the public reactions about these news. So we explored how users search ISIS on Google Trend. We firstly visualized the connections between ‘ISIS’ and its related queries. We wanted to show how the users’ attention was focused on the contents published by the terrorist group itself.

Intrigued by this clue we analyzed deeply the Google Trendline. We found out that line’s peaks were linked to two types of ISIS’ events: terrorist attacks and executions video publications. Since the people’s attention was focused on uncensored contents, we choose to limit the field of analysis to the execution peaks. Moreover, we analyzed the related queries for each execution and we noticed again a predominant occurrence of queries related to the videos. These points were visually identified thanks to the gathering of lines, texts dimension and a color hint to highlight ‘isis’, ‘beheading’, ‘video’ as recurring combination in the eight researches. Finally this steps help us to choose the videos as actors of the controversy and a connection between Isis e Censorship.


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1. Queries definition

This step of the research started analyzing Google Trends on the query Isis, and observing which were the related queries and the trend-line showed. We decided to use Google Trends in order to understand which was the interest of people about isis, and if there’s could be a connection between isis and censorship. Observing the trend-line we identified different peaks, and compared the dates with the events listed on the Wikipedia page “Timeline of ISIL-related contents”. The peaks corresponded to attacks and executions.

2. Corpus definition

The corpus was composed by the data from Google Trends: related queries to isis, peaks dates and correspondences with the wikipedia page “Timeline of ISIL-related contents”, and related queries to the different executions/events.


Timestamp: 28/11/2016 – 01/12/2016

Data source: Google trend, Wikipedia

The data consist on a .xls file containig the .csv data downloaded from Google Trends. The first spreadsheet contains ISIS related queries which are organized in columns: related queries, data typology (we selected queries in rising in the last year from Google Trend because they show an higher interests from users) and clusters. The second spreadsheet contains the weeks related to the trendline peaks. Each week is associated to the specific Isis events dates. The other 8 spreadsheets contain related rising queries for each selected event, they are organized in two columns.