Smartphone App Lets Users Fight Hate Crimes, Bullying

CombatHate is free in the Apple and Google app stores

Victims of a hate crime or cyber bullying now have a new digital tool for their arsenal.

The CombatHate App, available for iOS and Android, allows users to anonymously record and report incidents to law enforcement.

Secretary of State Jesse White on Tuesday was joined by the app's developers, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, to increase awareness of the technology in Illinois.

"When you've experienced [bullying or discrimination], you know how badly it makes you feel. You know how deeply it cuts you, and we don't that to happen to anyone in society," White said at the Standard Club.

Just last week, the social media application Yik Yak was disabled in Chicago after high school administrators and parents expressed concerns the app was being used for cyber bullying.

In addition to allowing users to report incidents, the application also aims to define what constitutes a hate crime or hate speech. For users who want to report bullying, which isn’t technically a hate crime, the app links to the federal website for tips on dealing with that type of harassment.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, based in Los Angeles, is a global human rights organization.

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