Google has removed a racist Chrome extension from its online store after it was revealed it was being used by Neo Nazis to identify people with Jewish sounding names.
The racist Chrome extension, known as Echo called itself a “coincidence detector” – in reference to the theory put forward by far right groups that Jewish people secretly control the media, governments and the financial sector.
The extension had a database of Jewish sounding names and would highlight these names. For example, Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York would appear as (((Michael Bloomberg))) on any website where his name appeared whilst the extension was installed.
The far right has recently been said to have been emboldened by the popularity of Donald Trump and his populist rhetoric. One victim was Jonathan Weisman, the deputy editor of the Washington Post who wrote about the harassment he had received from an account called @CyberTrump.
Before the app was removed, the extension was said to have 2,473 users and had received a five star rating. Although the majority of people criticised the app and called for its removal, there was a worryingly large number of people praising it – even going as far as saying that they would pass it on to their children.
Jonathan Sacrerdoti, director of communications at the Campaign Against Antisemitism said internet companies needed to “keep up to speed” in order to tackle anti-Semitism online.
He said: “In the past they have been too slow to react decisively to stop the abuse of Jewish people, often relying on slow and cumbersome systems for users to report anti-Jewish abuse, and then taking too long to deal with the abuse.
“Online or offline, Jewish people must be protected from hatred and abuse, and we must all join in the effort to fight anti-semitism.”