A new online tool for anonymously reporting hate crimes and discrimination in Columbus has had a small amount of use since it launched last month, but it has also drawn those who are abusing the tool itself.
Aida Ramirez, director of the Columbus Human Rights Commission, says that the online tool has drawn about 140 visits on the city website and three seemingly legitimate complaints since it was launched. One incident of reported discrimination appears to fall under the human rights commission authority and the person asked to be contacted, so Ramirez said that information will remain confidential.
Two reports were submitted anonymously:
Ramirez said that one person was told to go back where they came from and another was physically attacked. Both of those would be outside the human rights commission jurisdiction and will just be used for statistical purposes.
But the tool has also had four people use it to send fake reports with attached images that were offensive.
Ramirez said she was disappointed that people would waste their time submitting fake reports and city employees’ time dealing with the false reports and inappropriate images.
You can find the tool online at columbus.in.gov/human-rights