Surfing, Orgy, Apple Pie, Boobs

Legal determinations in obscenity trials rely, in part, on "community standards," one of the parameters defined in Miller v. California. The question is whether "the average person, applying contemporary community standards' would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest."

A lawyer in a current obscenity case in Florida has adopted an unusual approach to finding out what the community is really up to--checking out what they're googling. The findings:

Except for brief periods near Thanksgiving, searches for "orgy" consistently outrank attempts to find information about "apple pie" in Florida . The rest of the year, orgy searches are closer in frequency to what might be expected to be a common activity in Florida, "surfing."

We always suspected the much-ballyhooed "community" wasn't quite as wholesome as its reputation suggests. Looks like we were right--our neighbors have been googling orgies all along.

Via Ars Technica

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  • ||

    And if you are naughty enough to hit the "I'm Feeling Lucky" button after typing "orgy" into the Google search box, it takes you to a... Wikipedia article. HAWT.

  • ||

    You heard the lady. Get on google and start setting a baseline for community standards.

  • Mister DNA||

    What's up with the last half of 2004? Interest in orgies didn't pick up again til around the time of Bush's second inauguration...

  • Bingo||

    And boobs to rule them all!

  • ||

    I wish I could have been in Florida a month or so before Thanksgiving 2006.

    Though, considering the average Floridian, I guess I'm glad I wasn't.

  • ||

    Any idea what the vertical scale is in that graph? It's not enough for me to follow the claim by the lawyer that "orgy" (the red line) is closer to surfing (the blue line) than "apple pie" (the yellow line).

    And what are we to make of the apparent small rise in apple pie and decrease in orgy and surfing recently? Boobs growth remains unabated, though.

    I realize that this is in many ways too ridiculous to take seriously. Google Trends also reveals that "taxes" easily beats "orgy" and is close to "boobs," while "eminent domain" has far less hits than "apple pie." Have we proven that Floridians love taxes and don't care about Kelo or eminent domain? "Murder" also easily beats "orgy," so it must be an even bigger.

    Even more damning, just "pie" without the "apple" has as many hits as "boobs," though with a strong spike around Thanksgiving.

  • ||

    As wave activity is pretty poor throughout most of the gulf coast and only slightly better on the alantic (due to wide continental shelfs in areas), surfing in Florida primary SUCKS!!!!!

    Boobs, however, are plentiful in florida thanks to good weather and large beach areas.

  • ||

    me daydreaming: Katherine Mangu-Ward is doing some research googling images for "orgy" and into the office walks Kerry Howley..;

    Howley: hey whats up mangu...WOOOW! look at the size of that daisy chain! what are you looking at....sheez this is pretty hot, click on that they have a video...have you ever seen Shanes World? I'm thinking we should...

    ....In Walks Nick Gillespie....

    Gillespie:Hey girls how do you like my new jacket...yep real leather...wanna feel it?

  • DannyK||

    I can only wonder if John McCain is aware of this.

  • ||

    What's with the spike in orgy interest in October 2006? I would think it had to do with Halloween, but it didn't happen in any other year.

  • Mister DNA||

    Gabe, for the win.

  • thoreau||

    What's with the spike in orgy interest in October 2006?

    Jeb Bush was getting ready to leave office. Maybe Floridians felt that a celebration was in order.

  • ||

    Damn, that's a smart lawyer.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    Either that or Mark Foley moved back to FL...

  • thoreau||

    Oh, yeah, forgot about Mark Foley.

    Yep, must have been Mark Foley.

  • ||

    I wonder if the orgy spike is related to this world record setting orgy in Japan (not that bad but still probably NSFW).

    But since it's Florida, it might have more to do with the EuroDisney orgy scandal.

  • stephen the goldberger||

    Sorry to be a party pooper, but this is pretty lame data to draw any conclusions on. Why is apple pie and orgy the standard on which we judge the community's basic interests? What if we redid the test with the words "car" and "felching". Then we redid the test with the words "Peugeot" and "sex".

    And all you're doing is figuring out the interests of people who use the internet/google a lot. And not the community at large.

    In any case I agree with the premise, that people actually enjoy sex and pornography, no matter what the "community" has to say about it.

  • ||

    thoreau,

    Aside from the Schiavo business, I though Bush was a very good governor. He has a definite limited government streak and did some good things while in office. We got the smart Bush while the United States got the, um, other one.

    That said, I no more want another Bush in the White House than I want a Clinton. It's the one good thing about this election.

  • ||

    The rest of the year, orgy searches are closer in frequency to what might be expected to be a common activity in Florida, "surfing."


    Those who can't do, Google*.

    *Jebus but I hate Google as a verb.

  • Jozef||

    "Any idea what the vertical scale is in that graph? It's not enough for me to follow the claim by the lawyer that "orgy" (the red line) is closer to surfing (the blue line) than "apple pie" (the yellow line)."

    I find the vertical scale informative in the sense that it shows the scale is linear, and not logarithmic. With so many charts on-line (especially stock charts) having a logarithmic vertical scale, at first I assumed much greater differences in the values of respective lines, until I realized that the differences were strictly linear.

  • ||

    Sorry to be a party pooper, but this is pretty lame data to draw any conclusions on.

    I think the attorney's point is a little subtler than that; namely, that "community standards" is worthless as a jurisprudential yardstick. The graph is just a clever way of making that point.

  • jtuf||

    I just compared "orgy" and "al-qaeda". The results were encouraging.

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