News and Tribune


October 4, 2012

HARBESON: What the Internet thinks


> SOUTHERN INDIANA — What the Internet thinks

I’ll probably never know for sure if those letters give any real indication of what Republicans think but thanks to a new website, I can finally learn what the Internet thinks. is a site that will tell you what the Internet thinks about anything. Type in any word and it uses an algorithm to give you a result of, well, what the Internet thinks.

When you enter a search term, the site calculates and returns a percentage for three categories: negative, positive and indifferent. After calculating it also states a conclusion.

When I first encountered the site, those letters were still weighing heavily on my mind, so the first term I entered was “Republicans.” This term came out as 93.9 percent negative and the site’s conclusion was “The Internet is very negative about Republicans.” After that, I didn’t dare search for “prominent” or “notable” Republicans because I was afraid my laptop might explode.

I did decide to risk it and enter “Democrats” though. The site calculated that term to be 73.9 percent negative with the conclusion saying, “The Internet is negative about Democrats.”

I then typed in “government” which calculated to be 42.1 percent negative, the conclusion being “The Internet is negative about government, but only just.”

Next I decided to see how consistent this site is so I searched for a similar term, “Mafia.” That one came out as 59.5 percent negative, concluding “The Internet is negative about the Mafia.”

OK, so the site appears to be somewhat consistent, at least in how it views organizations that collect revenue through force.

What does the Internet think about “politicians?” After I asked, the site lit up again, saying 94.2 percent negative. Then I decided to search for “lawyer” and it was nearly a dead heat with 49.6 percent positive and 49.6 percent negative and .8 percent indifferent. So the conclusion for lawyers was, “It seems the Internet cannot decide what to make of lawyers.”

Neither can I, Internet, neither can I.

Finally I tried one last search, “voluntaryism.” That term came out as 100 percent positive, with the site concluding, “The Internet is absolutely positive about voluntarism.”

Me too, Internet, me too.

— Clark County resident Debbie Harbeson is very glad to learn that “the Internet is absolutely positive about big butts.” Write her at

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