Update on USA Election Monitor - Over 300 reports published

Nathaniel Manning
Nov 18, 2016

Nov 18th,

Last week we converted our USA Election monitoring deployment of Ushahidi to start monitoring post election hate speech, harassment, violence, and protests. We have partnered with a number of key people, such as Shaun King, to help gather, sort, verify, and publish the many reports of hate crimes appearing post election in the USA. The Ushahidi platform is uniquely capable of doing this, because it allows for the easily collection of reports via SMS, email, Twitter, and web form. We can gather reports via numerous customizable surveys for each type of issue, violence, hate speech, harassment, protest. Also it allows us to manage numerous volunteers in real time, of which there are many. A huge thanks to the many people who have volunteers, trained, and helped to triage and verify these many reports. Lastly, we are aware that there are many other initiatives out there who are also gathering data, such as Southern Poverty Law Center, Propublica, and researchers at MIT and Harvard. We make our data easily exportable via CSV (you can grab it by clicking “Share” on the top right), or journalists can embed the map using the embed code there as well.

Now an update on the content. We have received over 800 reports. Many of these were about the same issue, such as the crime reportat University of Michigan when two assailants pushed a woman down a hill and yelled a religious slur, or the report of a teacher threatening minority student’s that their parents will be deported, or the many instances of swastikas and hate speech against minorities, LGBTQI, and immigrants graffitied across public spaces. In addition we uncovered a number of false reports in our verification process. For those we could not verify, such as a personal first-hand story, we published them as “unverified.”

After this sorting, we have now published over 300 reports of violence, hate speech, and harassment taking place in the past 10 days across the USA. There are 148 reports of hate speech or threats, 44 harassment, 80 of violence. They cover the country, with large numbers in locations with large populations such as New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. There are also a number in Florida, North Carolina, Texas, and throughout the rust belt.

These events are truly disturbing and saddening. At this moment our goal as an organisation is to provide transparency during this time. However, the other important thing to know is that anyone can sign up for alerts of reports being published in their area. We highly recommend you do this to stay safe and be aware of any issues in your neighbourhoods. Please also share this, so that people know how to report.

We want to thank our volunteers and partners again, particularly Shaun King, who has been a voice and ear for many during this time who are scared and worried.