Google and ProPublica Team up to Build a National Hate Crime Database

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Techcrunch has posted an interesting article describing a new partnership between Google and public interest journalism website ProPublica to assemble a nationwide hate crimes index.

The need for trustworthy facts on the details and frequency of hate crimes and other incidents born of prejudice has never been more urgent.

At this point, there is simply no reliable national data on hate crimes. And no government agency documents lower-level incidents of harassment and intimidation, such as online or real-life bullying….

That’s why we have marshaled a national coalition of news organizations, civil-rights groups and technology companies intent on creating a database of reported hate crimes and bias incidents.

The system works by collecting Google News results that bear any indication of hate-related activity, such as racially motivated assaults or murders, racist graffiti, or similarly motivated online trolling, and filters them through Google’s natural language analysis to extract geographic and contextual information. This information is then added to the index, which reporters and news organizations can access. The project’s goals are to enable more effective, data-driven reporting on an often under-reported danger.