Pepe the Frog branded a hate symbol

Pepe the Frog

Pepe the Frog, an early Internet meme created with Microsoft paint to convey a feel good theme, has been declared a hate symbol for white supremacists.

The Anti-Defamation League says the images of the frog, variously portrayed with a Hitler-like mustache, wearing a yarmulke or a Klan hood, have proliferated in recent weeks in hateful messages aimed at Jewish and other users on Twitter.

The movement called the Alt-Right, or Alternative Right, has transformed Pepe as a means to flaunt its anti-political correct message. The group is associated with white nationalism because of its anti-immigration and anti-multiculturism attitude.

“Once again, racists and haters have taken a popular Internet meme and twisted it for their own purposes of spreading bigotry and harassing users,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL chief executive officer.

“These anti-Semites have no shame. They are abusing the image of a cartoon character, one that might at first seem appealing, to harass and spread hatred on social media,” he added.

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The ADL founded the Hate on Display database in 2000 as part of its effort to track hate groups.

[ ADL ]