While it’s no surprise that searches for the name ‘Osama Bin Laden’ have spiked over the last few days, Yahoo search figures show one surprise.
The fourth-most popular search question on Sunday, it says, was “Who is Osama Bin Laden?”, thanks to clueless US teenagers. Some two-thirds of those who asked that question were aged between 13 and 17 – which means, perhaps rather more worryingly, that one-third of these ignoramuses were adults.
Questions on the site include “Who is Osama Bin Laden, what country is he from, and was he to blame for 9-11?”
And another youngster asks: “Who is Osama Bin Laden and why is everybody making a big deal out of him? He looks like a dirty Santa claus! lol! but srsly who is he? i was too young to remember 9/11 and nobody ever told me about it not even in school.”
Overall, every single US state showed an increase in searches on Bin Laden, with North Dakota, Arizona, Montana the most inquisitive.
“Besides searches for confirmation of his death, we saw searches spike off the charts for Osama bin Laden’s biography, age, height, wife, and children,” says Yahoo. “Searches on Yahoo for ‘is it Usama or Osama?’ also spiked off the charts.”
Unsurprisingly, doubts have been raised about Bin Laden’s death, and this has also triggered a large number of searches.
“News of Osama bin Laden’s death seems to have caused a spike for conspiracy theories (up 114 percent Sunday on Yahoo) as well as a resurgence of searches for ‘9/11 conspiracy theories’,” says Yahoo.
“Searches for ‘conspiracy theories’ are split evenly amongst males and females, but 35 percent or one in three searches for the term are by teenagers ages 13-17.”
A conspiracy to keep US teens in the dark, perhaps?