Debunking the “Three Number New Cases” Meme

There is a meme going around that is amazing and suspicious.  Basically, if you open Google and search on ANY 3 digit number plus the words “new cases” (246 new cases, for example) Google will always be able to find a search result. I’ve seen this on Facebook, and tried it out myself, and it appears to work every time.  This is a little weird.  Now I’ve searched YouTube for this and similar videos.  This one is 5 minutes 18 seconds, so watch if you like.

The fact that this works for ANY 3-digit number is suspicious, but then Google is a search database and finds anything that matches.  We have been at this long enough (five months!) and reporting on so many locations that it is possible, even if it seems far-fetched, that every number has been used for cases or deaths or hospitalizations.  Additionally, in the specific case of 3-digit numbers, this is numbers between 100 and 999, which is only 900 different values.  Not really that many.

Let’s try a really LOOOONG number and see if it still works?  Then we would know it is a set-up.

 

Here goes: 1245789 new cases  That’s 1 million, 245 thousand, 789

And what I got back were a few results (CDC, Florida Health) but none that are using that 7 digit number.   So what happens if I use a 4-digit, 5-digit, or 6-digit number?  Well, fellow black helicopter conspiracy theorists, the same thing happens,  This only works for 3 digit numbers, and why it works is that we have been publishing these statistics daily in locations all over the globe, and evidently managed, by random chance, to use all or very nearly all the 3-digit numbers  in the thousands of daily reports.

So not a conspiracy, just a really weird coincidence.  Or maybe not.  Let’s keep checking.

For the record:  Here are results using 4 digits.  Check out the second search result!

Here are results using 5 digits.  This gave me results for CANCER not COVID

And here is 6 digits.  The results do not use my chosen number either

Sorry, but this just does seem to be an odd coincidence.  On to the next conspiracy theory!

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About the Author:

I am a cybersecurity and IT instructor, cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. I am an owner of the WyzCo Group Inc. In addition to consulting on security products and services, I also conduct security audits, compliance audits, vulnerability assessments and penetration tests. I also teach Cybersecurity Awareness Training classes. I work as an information technology and cybersecurity instructor for several training and certification organizations. I have worked in corporate, military, government, and workforce development training environments I am a frequent speaker at professional conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference in 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, the (ISC)2 World Congress 2016, and the ISSA International Conference 2017, and many local community organizations, including Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2006 at http://wyzguyscybersecurity.com

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