Cynthia Choi, co-director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, one of the organizations that launched the website, acknowledged that the online reporting does not guard against fictitious reports and online trolls. But she said the reports show clear similarities in the tone of the harassment and attacks.

“We are definitely seeing patterns and can only base this assessment on this honor system that people are reporting what’s really happening to them,” Choi said.

Choi warned that in the age of Internet and social media, harmful rhetoric, misinformation and conspiracy theories can spread faster than the virus. Advocates also urged against using the geographical origin of the virus when referring to it publicly.