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Robredo supporters misstate Google Trends predicted VP results in 2010, 2016

Jejomar Binay did not top Google searches when he ran for vice president in 2010, contrary to a claim circulating on social media that he did and Google Trends data predicted his victory that year.

The post published on March 10 by Acedilla Ana Sophia also wrongly said Leni Robredo received the most Google searches among the vice presidential bets in 2016.

Robredo’s supporters shared the erroneous claims using the following caption:

Google Trends correctly predicted that Ninoy (sic) and Binay would win the Presidency and the Vice Presidency.
In 2016, Google Trends did it again and correctly forecasted that Duterte and Robredo will win the elections.
This 2022, Google Trends is once again on it. According to the data it gathered, if the elections is done today, Leni Robredo will win the May 9, 2022 elections at 44% preference with her closest rival trailing far behind with only 26% preference.

The caption misidentified former President Benigno Aquino III as Ninoy, his father’s nickname. The late president was called Noynoy.

The incorrect Google Trends results on Binay and Robredo were lumped together with the Google search data of the presidential candidates in the 2010 and 2016 elections in an attempt to forecast Robredo’s victory this year.

Google Trends data from Feb. 9 to May 10, 2010 show that Binay, who won the polls that year, was only the second most searched candidate after Mar Roxas. Roxas placed second in the elections.

Google Trends data from 2016 also show that Ferdinand Marcos Jr. was the most searched vice presidential candidate from Feb. 9 to May 7, 2016. Robredo was only the third most searched vice presidential candidate. Marcos, who is now running for president against Robredo, placed second in the 2016 elections.

These data were gathered from searches of the topics, not the terms, of the candidate’s names. Google recommends using topics instead of terms in Google Trends, which includes the different keywords associated with the name and its spelling variations.

A supporter of Robredo, however, correctly indicated that the most searched presidential candidates in the 2010 and 2016 campaign periods were the eventual winners: Aquino in 2010 and Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. The post reached more than a thousand reactions and more than 300 shares.

This claim took off after an opinion piece in The Philippine Star discussed the use of Google Trends to predict the election outcomes in various countries, including the Philippines with Duterte’s win. The piece did not mention the 2010 elections.

The media organization also reported on March 7 that Robredo was the most searched candidate on Google.

Google launched on March 11 a Search Trends page for this year’s elections.

Acedilla Ana Sophia’s post reached 181 reactions and 88 shares. A page that supports Robredo and her running mate, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, also reposted the claim. (CC)


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