We started crawling news articles to document local protest activity in the United States at the start of 2017. Prior to George Floyd's murder on May 25th, on an average night, we would spend approximately 45 minutes reviewing about 80 articles. The busiest weekend that we had occurred on March 24, 2018, when the country came out to march against gun violence in response to the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. That day, we read 587 articles.
Since George Floyd's murder, Americans across the country have expressed anguish against police brutality and demanded change for racial justice, and local news sources have captured much of this activity. After May 25th, the number of articles in our nightly review queue increased more than ten-fold since the start of Count Love. Almost a month later, on a nightly basis our review volume continues to grow by five times more than what we've historically observed.
Given the review volume, realistically it will be a while before we'll have a full picture of protest activity across the country in May and June. In the interim, we've made two changes to our review process. First, rather than read all articles from a single news source each day, we're sampling a subset of those articles. Second, we're also simultaneously reading articles from the back and the front of the queue to capture recent protest activity while we catch up. The chart above shows how many articles we've reviewed thus far from each night's crawl, as well as how many articles remain.
When we started counting protests three and a half years ago, we hoped that keeping a credible, searchable record of protest activity would help amplify the voices of protestors. We'll review the remaining articles as fast as we can.