Google pulled a browser plugin from its app store Thursday night after Mic News reported the web tool was being used to systematically mark and harass Jewish internet users and members of the media.
The Chrome plugin, innocuously dubbed “Coincidence Detector,” drew on a user-generated list of supposedly Jewish names to highlight with a bracketed construction called an “echo,” stylized (((echo))), which is used in anti-Semitic circles online. Mic reporters using the extension found it placed the names Fleishman and Kristol in an echo.
— Fame’s Blond (@FamesBlond) June 2, 2016
A description for the app, which was uploaded by the user “altrightmedia,” said it would “help you detect total coincidences about who has been involved in certain political movements and media empires,” a reference to the white supremacist belief that the media is controlled as part of a vast Jewish conspiracy.
Google said the app was removed for violating its hate speech policy.
Coincidence Detector boasted nearly 2,500 users and a five-star user rating before it went dark.
Earlier this week, the Anti-Defamation League announced it was convening a task force of journalists, members of academic, and law enforcement to study and offer solutions to widespread anti-Semitic online abuse hurled at journalists covering the 2016 election.