the bigoted search lines

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Does "the bigoted search lines" refer to "the search lines of the bigoted people"?

More optimistically, these declines in prejudice may be an underestimate, given that when Google began keeping records of searches in 2004 most Googlers were urban and young, who are known to be less prejudiced and bigoted than rural and older people, who adopted the search technology years later (when the bigoted search lines were in steep decline). Stephens-Davidowitz confirms that such intolerant searches are clustered in regions with older and less educated populations and that compared with national searches, those from retirement neighborhoods are seven times as likely to include “n*** jokes” and 30 times as likely to contain “fag jokes.”

-Scientific American

  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    It refers to the types of search described in the previous paragraph. Seeing "the" before "bigoted search terms" should prompt you to look for a previous reference to the term (there isn't one) or, failing that, something that can be described in the same terms. "The" is not usually used the first time something is mentioned.
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