Google searches for ‘WW3’ have skyrocketed by 75-times the usual rate in wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As tensions continue to mount between Moscow and Kyiv, UK internet users expressed their fears about it engulfing the rest of Europe, by asking the search engine giant if it might spell the start of a third world war.
There were 1.5m searches for WW3 since last month, up from roughly 20,000, representing a 75-fold spike, figures released by upUgo showed.
“People’s worries and concerns come across in their online search patterns just as much as their interests”, said Luke Sartain, founder of upUgo.
Other terms which had a spike were those relevant to conflict zones, including ‘geiger counter’, which is used to detect radiation. That increased by 34-fold from under 7,000 searches to more than 230,000.
This comes after the UK and US banned Russian oil imports, and major companies such as McDonald’s pulled out of Russia in protest of the invasion. on Wednesday, Fitch Ratings warned Russia may not be able to pay its debts as a result of growing international isolation.