Documenting Hate: Building an Authoritative Source on Bias Crimes

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After the election of Donald Trump, images of possible hate crimes popped up in social and traditional media — and some law enforcement agencies reported an uptick in such incidents.

But a lack of solid information around hate crimes and bias incidents left a lot of questions unanswered. Did the election herald a new intolerance, or did it merely increase scrutiny on a persistent part of the American experience? How many such crimes occur annually? Where are they most prevalent? Who is committing them? 

Today ProPublica, WNYC and several other partners — including The New York Times and the Southern Poverty Law Center — announced a new project called Documenting Hate, which is designed to help answer such questions.

Documenting Hate aims to make the most authoritative national database of hate crimes, harassment and intimidation ever assembled. It will build on what the Southern Poverty Law Center and other organizations already track, monitor social media and incorporate official crime reports. It will, for the first time, provide journalists with this data and help them cover hate and bias in an efficient and sensitive way. The data will also be made available to interested civil rights groups. 

The project allows victims and witnesses to report incidents, and invites journalists to get involved. The approach is similar to how many of the same partners worked on Electionland to track voting problems. In the coming weeks, Documenting Hate will begin disseminating information to local partners and hosting training sessions on how to report on hate crimes.

If you have an incident to report, you can add to the project using the form below. For more details, visit Documenting Hate.