Using Google Trends To Determine 'Community Standards' Of Obscenity

from the knew-that-data-would-come-in-handy-sometime dept

While there are plenty of reasons to have trouble with "obscenity" laws, one of the biggest is the ridiculously vague "contemporary community standards" test established by the Supreme Court. How does one show what the community standards are when it concerns activities done in the privacy of one's own home? Well, apparently, at least one defense attorney in an obscenity case has decided that Google Trends is the answer. He's planning to show that more people in the local community are using Google to search for the word "orgy" than for "apple pie" or "watermelon." That's pretty amusing, but probably not very convincing. How often are people really going to search for "apple pie?" Still, it does seem to suggest how silly the whole process is of determining what contemporary community standards should be.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous of Course, 24 Jun 2008 @ 2:42pm

    The Public At Large

    Do Google users represent "the local community?"
    I'd like to see the demographics for the community
    in question. To start with, how many residents
    are computer users?

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