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A Year of Impact

The Intelligence Project’s Data Lab Combats Digital Extremism in 2023

In 2023, the Intelligence Project’s Data Lab marked its inaugural year with a flurry of activity aimed at combating extremism using digital methodologies. The groundbreaking tools and infrastructure developed by the Data Lab have bolstered the SPLC’s ability to identify and address digital manifestations of hate, by leveraging technology in our effort to counter white supremacy and hard-right extremism.

One standout achievement of the Data Lab has been to develop a host of innovative digital tools and training materials tailored specifically for the Intelligence Project’s unique mission. These new tools empower researchers and journalists with advanced resources to tackle digital hate, and to do it in a safe and secure manner, all while preserving the valuable historical record compiled by the team in prior decades.

The Data Lab also produced a number of scholarly and investigative research products. The team contributed numerous articles in the “Hatewatch” and “Techwatch” series, delving into complex and timely issues such as the use of cryptocurrency by extremist groups and the financial mechanisms underpinning donor-funded extremism. Through these publications, the Data Lab has provided deep insights and raised awareness about the intricate financial networks that support hate groups, highlighting the critical role of financial tracking in understanding and combating extremism.


The Data Lab launched a series of deep dives into platforms and technologies that enable hate to flourish online. These “Digital Threat Reports” began with an investigation of the Odysee video hosting platform. The Data Lab identified the key hate-related channels on the site and the amounts of money the creators associated with those channels raked in as they spread hate.

In addition to these publications, the Data Lab staff members were frequent speakers and contributors at external conferences and meetings on the use of digital technology and platforms by hate groups and figures. The Data Lab also assisted with multiple active legal cases against extremists. This collaboration with external partners underscores the practical impact of the Data Lab in holding extremists accountable for their actions.

In all, 2023 was a remarkably successful foundational year for the Data Lab. Its contributions in tool development, impactful publications, and internal and external collaborations and partnerships will continue to bolster efforts against digital hate in 2024 and beyond.

To explore more Data Lab insights and stay informed about SPLC’s ongoing efforts to combat extremism, visit the Data Lab articles hub.

Illustration by SPLC