Google Launches Hate Crime Tracking Tool, Omits Conservative Websites


Google and ProPublica have created a new tool that tracks hate crimes throughout the United States.

Google News Lab is developing a new tool powered by machine learning, titled by “Documenting Hate News Ending,” which tracks every hate crime reported across 50 states using data collected from February 2017 onward.

The tool is being developed as part of the “Documenting Hate project,” which was launched this January by ProPublica. It is supported by news and other digital media organizations, universities, and civil rights groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The tool features a list of articles harvested from various, largely left-leaning websites, including HuffPost, BuzzFeed, Mic, Think Progress, and even pro-Antifa publication Unicorn Booty. It runs Google News stories and filters them through Google’s natural language analysis tools to confine the results to America.

High-profile conservative websites like Fox News have little to no presence on the tool.

According to TechCrunch, Google is using the project as a “starting point” for documenting and studying hate crimes. The publication claims that despite the fact that the FBI documents hate crimes, crimes committed at the local and state-level are overlooked because they “fail to report their own incidents, making the data incomplete at best.”

“The feed is generated from news articles that cover events suggestive of hate crime, bias or abuse — such as anti-semitic graffiti or local court reports about incidents,” says Gogle News Lab Data editor Simon Rogers. “And we are monitoring it to look out for errant stories that slip in, i.e., searches for phrases that just include the word ‘hate’ — it hasn’t happened yet but we will be paying close attention.”

There’s no word yet on how debunked hate crimes and hoaxes are filtered through the system.

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