Yesterday, Mic reported that a Google Chrome extension called "Coincidence Detector" was creating a database of Jewish people in order to notify users when they were reading the work of, or reading about, a Jewish person online. The extension placed three sets of parentheses (a symbol used by neo-Nazis) around certain names to identify them as Jewish. Now, one day later, Google has pulled the extension for violating its hate speech policy, Engadget reports.
The parentheses, which are known as an "echo," originated from a right-wing podcast called The Daily Shoah, Mic reports. The plugin claimed it could "help you detect total coincidences about who has been involved in certain political movements and media empires," which, as Mic notes, is based on a conspiracy theory that Jews are joining forces to push a "Jewish agenda."
After the initial Mic report, influential Jewish users on Twitter began putting parentheses around their own names as a way of reclaiming the echo, according to Motherboard.
Thanks to everyone participating in this act of (((cultural appropriation))). Since the culture in question is Nazi, it's permissible.— (((Goldberg))) (@JeffreyGoldberg) June 3, 2016
At the time it was pulled, the plugin had 2,500 users and was tracking more than 8,700 names, Engadget reports.