What’s Obscene? Google Could Have an Answer from the New York Times documents a case that is underway in the US legal system where Google Trends was brought in to determine the morality of what is sexually explicit content.

The case is about a Florida-based porn web site that the state wants to prove is obscene. But the defense attorney argues his client’s web site is “obscene” because Google searches show that communities in Florida do indeed look for this material — making it “normal” rather than exceptional.

For example, uses Google Trends will be used to show more search for “orgy” than “apple pie,” in the area. The defense will argue the web site’s sexual content does not exceed that of “more mainstream topics” and therefore the content is “not outside the norm.”

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