I’m about 4 months late to the Google auto-complete craze. Better late than never because the auto-complete function offers a diverting look inside the internet hive-mind.
Though there are plenty of serious surveys conducted to measure America’s image around the world, I thought it instructive to take a different approach: type in “why is America…” and “Why are Americans…” into the google engine dedicated to various countries with large numbers of internet-using English speakers and see what kind of gems auto-complete suggests. 
Google maintains separate search sites for different countries. Google.com is the main Google search engine for the United States, while google.co.uk is the main search engine for the United Kingdom. I chose google sites for India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This is not a scientific sampling.
The results aren’t too surprising, though a little harrowing. The most popular responses are reproduced above and below:
"Why is America…"/"Why are Americans…"
so fat
so rich
so great
called yankees
obese
so ignorant
called america
in debt
so violent
so religious
A typical sample comes from Canada:

"Why do Americans…" and "Why does America" are also interesting questions, though they’re not included in the word cloud above. Canada again:

Canada! We love you guys! You’re “most liked” according to Gallup’s World Affairs Survey of Americans!
Also, I know nothing of how google’s auto-complete algorithm functions. I suspect an IP’s location and the timing of the search has an effect. The data was gathered today in the eastern USA. “afraid of dragons” most likely refers to Ursula K. Le Guin’s essay "Why Are Americans Afraid of Dragons?"

I’m about 4 months late to the Google auto-complete craze. Better late than never because the auto-complete function offers a diverting look inside the internet hive-mind.

Though there are plenty of serious surveys conducted to measure America’s image around the world, I thought it instructive to take a different approach: type in “why is America…” and “Why are Americans…” into the google engine dedicated to various countries with large numbers of internet-using English speakers and see what kind of gems auto-complete suggests. 

Google maintains separate search sites for different countries. Google.com is the main Google search engine for the United States, while google.co.uk is the main search engine for the United Kingdom. I chose google sites for India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Philippines, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Ireland, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This is not a scientific sampling.

The results aren’t too surprising, though a little harrowing. The most popular responses are reproduced above and below:

"Why is America…"/"Why are Americans…"

  1. so fat
  2. so rich
  3. so great
  4. called yankees
  5. obese
  6. so ignorant
  7. called america
  8. in debt
  9. so violent
  10. so religious

A typical sample comes from Canada:

image

"Why do Americans…" and "Why does America" are also interesting questions, though they’re not included in the word cloud above. Canada again:

image

Canada! We love you guys! You’re “most liked” according to Gallup’s World Affairs Survey of Americans!

Also, I know nothing of how google’s auto-complete algorithm functions. I suspect an IP’s location and the timing of the search has an effect. The data was gathered today in the eastern USA. “afraid of dragons” most likely refers to Ursula K. Le Guin’s essay "Why Are Americans Afraid of Dragons?"

  1. sporaticnomad reblogged this from pantslessprogressive
  2. aim2misbehave reblogged this from bubonickitten and added:
    Interesting stereotypes here… But i like that, apparently, we’re preceived to be more afraid of dragons than socialism....
  3. terenceinmonochrome reblogged this from silas216
  4. silas216 reblogged this from pantslessprogressive
  5. wildandbright reblogged this from pantslessprogressive and added:
    This is hilarious. “Why does America hate Canada?” Good question. Ha.
  6. jlove reblogged this from ilyagerner and added:
    One other thing to note - the world abroad also believes that Americans are afraid of dragons. Well played Trogdor. Well...
  7. bonjourchat reblogged this from jerfreyy
  8. mollierosie reblogged this from pantslessprogressive
  9. bringingxcback reblogged this from theoneders and added:
    and then there’s the american google opinion of canada. we are so insightful. http://i.imgur.com/1A90I.png
  10. fearlessfeminist reblogged this from pantslessprogressive and added:
    That’s depressing. Damn.
  11. carpios reblogged this from jerfreyy
  12. jerfreyy reblogged this from pantslessprogressive
  13. bubonickitten reblogged this from pantslessprogressive
  14. lateralsymmetry said: Incredible. Great, great job, Ilya
  15. pantslessprogressive reblogged this from ilyagerner