Energy Mobility Tweets Searches

COVID-19 & Searches

Pietro Gravino 1, Giulio Prevedello 1, Annette Werth 1
1 SONY Computer Science Lab - Paris

What People Want (to Know)

The COVID-19 emergency is impacting our lives and our societies at many different levels. The infosphere is one the most critical levels because through information, people learn, acquire knowledge, form their opinions, and eventually make decisions. Understanding the dynamics of information, with its multiple facets of production, fruition, diffusion, and manipulation, is thus of paramount importance both in the most critical contention phase and in the planning of future strategies.

In this preliminary and still ongoing study, we visualize the evolution of the infosphere in time and space, including the semantic level as well. The main metric we introduce is the Searches index, which gives us insights about the popularity of top search queries related to the term “Coronavirus” in Google Search across various regions and languages. This index is obtained from data that can be extracted from Google Trends. These data are proportional to the number of queries done by Google search engine users averaged over the users’ total activity in a considered region.

Our Focus


In-depth studies focusing on Italian data are being performed in collaboration with AGCOM, the Italian Agency for Communication, and they are being published on the AGCOM github website and in the AGCOM periodic reports. Sony CSL Paris is part of the Task Force AGCOM set up to fight online disinformation during the COVID-19 emergency.