Google has removed an application from its browser that let neo-Nazis identify Jews based on their names, after two technology journalists sounded the alarm.
The Coincidence Detector app, taken down on Thursday, used algorithms to single out Jews and identify them with three brackets (parentheses) either side of the name.
Two reporters for tech website Mic were themselves identified this way, before tracing the triple-parentheses symbol to a right-wing blog hosting a podcast called The Daily Shoah.
“Some use the symbol to mock Jews,” said Mic journalist Cooper Fleishman. “Others seek to expose supposed Jewish collusion in controlling media or politics. All use it to put a target on their heads.”
Some U.S-based Jewish journalists, such as foreign affairs analyst Jeffrey Goldberg, added the parentheses to their Twitter handles, mocking its usage.
White nationalists are believed to have been emboldened by the meteoric rise of Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate who has proposed banning Muslims from America. Trump’s Jewish son-in-law, Jaren Kushner, is among the 8,771 people targeted before the app was removed.