Google released its “Year in Search” on Wednesday, including the top 10 highest-searched questions of 2017. It’s a wide-ranging list that includes everything that grabbed the attention of internet-surfers in a year dominated by political changes and natural phenomena.
Some of the top Google searches this year include questions on how to define both serious and lighthearted words and phrases related to Donald Trump’s presidency. One, “covfefe,” remains a mystery months after its creation. Half of the top Google searches are linked to the Trump Administration. It’s unclear how many people searched each question, since Google said it does not have that data. But each search is tied to a significant news event this year.
Here are answers to some of the top-searched Google questions in 2017.
What is DACA?
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a U.S. government program more commonly known as DACA, protects some undocumented immigrants who came to the country illegally as children by allowing them to file a request to temporarily avoid deportation and remain in the country. Supporters say it offered a path out of the shadows for immigrants who have known no other home than the United States. The Trump Administration rescinded the program in September. About 800,000 people are currently protected by DACA, which was launched in 2012 under President Barack Obama. “I do not favor punishing children, most of whom are now adults, for the actions of their parents. But we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws,” President Donald Trump said in a statement.
What is Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency system that is used to make payments around the world. It has grown exceedingly popular since its development around 2008. Bitcoin uses a technology called the “blockchain” that functions as a public ledger, helping people spend and receive bitcoin without a centralized oversight system. In December, the value of Bitcoin soared past $17,000 as major trading exchanges began offering investors bitcoin futures. Roger Ver, the CEO Bitcoin.com, called the electronic cash system “one of the most important inventions in all of human history,” according to the company’s website. But doubters like JPMorganChase CEO Jamie Dimon consider bitcoin a “fraud.”
What is a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse is a celestial event that occurs when the moon passes directly between the sun and the Earth and either partially or completely covers the entire face of the sun. In August, a total solar eclipse — visible only in the U.S. — sailed across the country from coast to coast for the first time in American history.
What is antifa?
Antifa (short for anti-fascist) is a broad term used for a collective group of left-wing activist types who oppose fascism. The term can also be extended to people who oppose anyone who supports their nation in an oppressive manner or anyone who thinks one race is superior to others. The antifa movement gained national attention in August when violent protests broke out in Charlottesville, Va., where white supremacy groups had gathered to rally against the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Some have accused members of instigating violence and causing more damage than those they oppose – charges antifa supporters deny.
What is net neutrality?
Net neutrality is government regulation that ensures Internet Service Providers (ISPs) like Comcast, AT&T and Verizon treat all web content equally, meaning they cannot selectively restrict access or slow down or speed up service based on a website’s popularity, success or financial ties to the ISP. In 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted in favor of net neutrality after a push from President Obama. “An entrepreneur’s fledgling company should have the same chance to succeed as established corporations, and that access to a high school student’s blog shouldn’t be unfairly slowed down to make way for advertisers with more money,” the Obama Administration said at the time. However, in November, Trump administration FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he plans to repeal net neutrality regulations. “Under my proposal, the federal government will stop micromanaging the internet,” he said in a statement.
What is covfefe?
Nobody really knows what “covfefe” means, except perhaps President Trump, who used the word in a strange tweet in which he criticized the news media in May. Before it was deleted, Trump’s tweet read: “Despite the constant negative press covfefe.” While the word was likely a typo, it still garnered significant attention. Trump never explained the message. Instead, he teased those who were baffled by it. “Who can figure out the true meaning of “covfefe” ??? Enjoy!” he later tweeted.
Who can figure out the true meaning of "covfefe" ??? Enjoy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2017
What is the antikythera mechanism?
The Antikythera Mechanism is an ancient analog astronomical computer that was used more than two centuries ago to track planetary positions and predict lunar and solar eclipses. Scientists believe the device could date as far back as 150 BC. Google celebrated the 115th anniversary of its discovery in May. The artifact, which was powered by a crank, was found in 1902 from a shipwreck at Antikythera, a small island in the Mediterranean Sea.
What is a fidget spinner?
Fidget spinners are hand-held toys that took the world by storm in 2017, attracting both children and adults. The gadgets, which fan out when flicked, dominated Amazon’s top-selling toys and games list after gaining popularity this spring. They were touted as a way for people with “fidgets,” or even ADHD, to reduce anxieties and increase focus.
What is the Paris Climate Agreement?
The Paris Climate Agreement is a landmark deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that nearly 200 nations agreed to in 2015. Under the Obama Administration, the U.S. was a signatory. In June, Trump pulled the U.S. out of the agreement, saying it “handicaps” the U.S. economy in regards to jobs distribution and is “unfair at the highest level” to America.
What is a hurricane?
A hurricane is a massive storm system that forms over water and makes its way toward land. Hurricanes bring high winds, heavy rainfall and flooding depending on its category. Several storms inflicted significant damage and resulted in dozens of casualties this year, including Hurricane Harvey in Texas, Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Hurricane season in the Atlantic typically peaks between August and October, according to Ready, a federal public service campaign.