Monitoring National Consumer Safety

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is tasked with protecting the public from injury or death associated with the use of products under its jurisdiction. To identify emerging threats, the agency’s Data Intake Team monitors incidents through different channels, like police logs, hospital filings, and news articles.

As media consumption transitioned from paper to digital, CPSC saw the need – and opportunity – to rethink its news gathering process, evolving from offline clip-cutting to online harvesting. Barbaricum was tasked with developing a turn-key solution that automated the search, review and reporting phases.

We built a platform capable of capturing news clip headlines from hundreds of thousands of online sources of all types, with an emphasis on local publications, with a de-duping filter to eliminate duplicates. Upon inspection by our analysts, approximately 90% of clips are discarded, while the remaining 10% are run through a custom software that retrieves the full text of the article for further curation. Our weekly submission of approximately 150 news incidents allows CPSC to rapidly deploy on-site investigators for risk assessments.

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