Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt divorce was searched for more than porn upon its announcement

The 'porn' search has become the high and low watermark of the internet

Andrew Griffin
Friday 23 September 2016 09:21
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Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie

It’s both the internet’s lowest point and its highest benchmark. And the divorce of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt broke through it.

Interest in the break up – which primarily came to Google as search for Ms Jolie’s name – briefly beat porn, the most popular search on the internet this week. But as quick as it happened, it stopped again.

Many have made the argument in the days following the revelation that the couple were breaking up that nobody should care about it anyway. But the Google data shows that the age of the celebrity break-up certainly isn’t dead – even if it does wilt very quickly.

The interest surged at the moment it was announced, when it crashed through bar set by porn. But minutes later it lost out again, and interest has gradually plunged since then.

The comparison with porn might seem a little gross. But it has become a way of knowing when an event has gained pop cultural dominance – this year, both Brexit and Pokemon Go were far more popular than “porn” for some time, reflecting the huge amount of interest in each.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt: A timeline of their relationship

The breakup of Brangelina had none of the lasting interest that either of those topics did, according to Google’s data. It is perhaps the final vindication of both sides of the argument – people do care about the breakup, but they don’t seem interested in the continuing fallout of the weeks after.

Meanwhile, searches for porn continued to rage on the site. They take a fairly steady trajectory, despite what’s going on in the news – rising and falling on the same days and times throughout the week.

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