Sci & Tech

Internet Trends: Iran's a Hot Topic

Internet Trends:  Iran's a Hot TopicInternet Trends:  Iran's a Hot Topic

Usually we give a rundown of what has been searched over an Iranian month; in this case we're at the end of the Iranian month of Mehr (Sept. 23-Oct.22). But this month we are going to be casting our net wider than usual with global issues playing a larger role.

The Internet search giant Google this month dedicated an entire subsection to the Iran Nuclear Pact, which shows users' interest in Iran's only dealings with the West.

Google has listed the top five search questions as follows: What is the Iran Nuclear Deal? When was the Iran Nuclear Deal Signed? Why is the Iran Nuclear Deal bad? What is Bernie Sanders' stance on the Iran Nuclear Deal? and Why is the Iran Nuclear Deal good?

These queries point to the confusion in the world, most particularly in the US, about the deal with Iran. It highlights the fear some have in doing any dealings with each party. However, one can note that some Americans are not content with what their broadcast media had been telling them about the deal?

Other searches in this analytics special include: What Happened to the Iran Deal? Which Senate Democrats voted for the Iran Nuclear Deal? What was the name of the joint resolution on Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal? What was the Iran Deal called in the Senate? And last, but not least: Why didn't the Senate have to ratify the Iran Nuclear Deal?

The debate helped highlight many related issues in the international media, especially Obama's filibustering moves.

Iran is attempting to look at the finer details of the deal its government has signed.  The country is leading searches with "Iran Nuclear Deal," followed strangely by Cameroon and surprisingly in third place Cuba.

For searches within the US, the District of Columbia hit the search button most, followed by Vermont and Virginia, Connecticut and Massachusetts. These top five states are primarily Democrat voters. Staunchly Republican Idaho also looked with interest at the deal online, scoring seventh place edging just behind Atlantic Maine.

During the month of October, searches for "Nuclear Deal" spiked twice, first on the 14th and then on the 19th, this will be likely due to interest from Democratic voters and Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders' comments during debates.

 Iran Search Terms

For in-country trends this month, religious events took center-stage.  With the official mourning ceremony underway for the holy month of Muharram, this year's events are being hosted against a backdrop of the Hajj stampede tragedy in Saudi Arabia.

 The rising death toll and the aftermath of Saudi incompetence in hosting the event have been playing out locally and regionally. As some family members still wait for the bodies of their loved ones to return, Iran's national media and population as a whole is still shocked by the September events of Mina.

The top three terms this month refer to the "Tragedy of Mina", now an official terminology in the local lexicon. All three variations of searches on the event are "Breakout" terms, meaning searches hitting exceeding 4000% of hits.

In third place this month is another sudden death. Hadi Norouzi, a footballer from the Persepolis professional league team who was just 30 years old when he passed away from a heart attack.

In fourth place was the death of another cinematic celebrity. Homa Rousta, a well-known female actor and celebrity, died in a hospital in Los Angeles but was later transferred to Tehran's Behest –e Zahra Cemetery to be buried next to her husband, Hamid Samandarian.

Searches about Rousta's death mostly originated from Mazandaran, with Khuzestan also seeking more information on her passing.

In fifth place this month is Eid e-Ghadir (Ghadir Khumm), where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) designated Imam Ali (PBUH) as his successor. The religious city of Qom leads in searches for the event, searching 100% of the queries, with Gilan and Mazandaran following in second and third place respectively.

Sixth this month is the lunar month of Muharram, which started on  October 14. In this month's score, the entire country is searching the term with South Khorasan's Bandar Genaveh leading search terms. Kerman closely follows with Qom not far behind.  The peak search date for this term was on October 14.

The Muharram theme continues throughout the rest of the chart with "Nohe" spelled in Persian characters coming in seventh place this month. (Nohe refers to elegies recited in honor of the tragic martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH), the prophet's grandson, and that of his 72 companions more than 13 centuries ago by the army of tyrant king Yazid).

In eighth place this month is "Maddahi" or eulogy in English. These are verses recited about the battle of Karbala in Iraq where Imam Hussein (PBUH) was martyred. Central Qom and the western city of Hamedan lead the search terms this month, with Mazandaran and Lorestan also following closely in the 90 percentile range.

Coming in at ninth place this month is Imam Hussein (PBUH), with searches peaking on the 14th of the month. Again like other searches Qom led the way and Kerman followed with 78% of searches in that city looking for the prophet with Khuzestan following.

In tenth place is the name of the month of Mehr itself, with Qazvin leading the way in terms of searches.