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Friday, June 28, 2013
A Modest Test of Terrorism Forecasting with Google Trends
I was reading this piece on forecasting terrorist attacks, and I was reminded that it's been a while since I played Google Trends bingo.
So here are several forecasts related to terrorist attacks and other things, courtesy of Google Trends, which extrapolates future Google searches based on past ones.
This is arguably the purest kind of Big Data crowdsourcing forecast because it factors in all the things that invisibly make people search for something on Google.
It should be taken with large grains of salt -- as should all claims of forecasting terrorist attacks and sundry events -- but let's get it on the record and see.
Search: Bomb. Forecast: December 2013
Search: Lone Wolf. Forecast: January 2014
Search: Terrorist, attack. Forecast: May 2014
Search: Protest, riot. Forecast: June 2014
Search: Nuclear accident. Forecast: April 2014
Search: Stock market crash. Forecast: November 2013
Search: Shooting. Forecast: August 2013 (it's worth noting that my previous efforts to forecast also returned August 2013 as a likely search peak)
Search: Massacre. Forecast: July 2013
Search: Terrorism. Forecast: May 2014
Buy J.M. Berger's book, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam
Views expressed on INTELWIRE are those of the author alone.
Tweets referencing this post:
ISIS: THE STATE
Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger co-author the forthcoming book, "ISIS: The State of Terror," from Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book, which will debut in early 2015, will examine the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, its potential fall, how it is transforming the nature of extremist movements, and how we should evaluate the threat it presents. Jessica Stern is a Harvard lecturer on terrorism and the author of the seminal text Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants Kill. J.M. Berger is author of the definitive book on American jihadists, Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, a frequent contributor to Foreign Policy, and editor of Intelwire.com.