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Anti-Defamation League Declares Pepe the Frog a Hate Symbol (time.com) 398

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TIME: The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has declared a popular internet meme depicting a cartoon frog to be a hate symbol. Pepe the Frog's beginnings were unoffensive: he is the creation of comic book creator Matt Furie, who featured the frog as a character in the series Boy's Club beginning in 2005. The character subsequently became a beloved meme, often called the "sad frog meme" and shared with a speech bubble reading "Feels good man" or "Feels bad man." But recently, as the Daily Beast reported in May, the character has been co-opted by a faction of Internet denizens who decided to reclaim it from the mainstream, and began sharing it in anti-Semitic contexts. "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 ADL wrote in a statement. "Once again, racists and haters have taken a popular Internet meme and twisted it for their own purposes of spreading bigotry and harassing users," wrote ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt.
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Anti-Defamation League Declares Pepe the Frog a Hate Symbol

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  • Who said what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 27, 2016 @08:48PM (#52973295)

    Who the fuck is the ADL? Why the fuck do I give a shit?

    -- Internet

    • by Z00L00K ( 682162 )

      Calling the Pepe frog a hate symbol just makes it one. The reality is that it's just a stupid drawing.

      • So I guess whoever slapped swastikas on that frog can now say "mission accomplished"?

      • I'd rather say that putting a Hitler moustache on it made it a hate symbol-

        • Mustaches like that were very popular in the inter-war years. Only fucking idiots associate them particularly with Hitler.

          • ...if seen in a time piece of that era. And yes, mixing up Charlie Chaplin's "Tramp" with Hitler just because of the moustache would indeed be funny.

            But that friggin frog is contemporary.. well.. "artwork".

            And as you mentioned, those moustaches were very popular in the inter-war years, but you might have noticed that they aren't today. So any current usage is a direct referrence to either
            a) general facial hair style in the 30s
            b) Charlie Chaplin
            c) Hitler

            If seen in conjunction with antisemitic slogans, all am

    • by mjwx ( 966435 )

      Who the fuck is the ADL? Why the fuck do I give a shit?

      -- Internet

      And this is the correct response.

      Every time that you give these people the wind of your fart, it validates them and their method. Ignore and move on.

      Seriously though, I find the Anti-ADL to be a bigger bunch of butthurt whiners, who also need to be ignored. Same kind of attention whores, slightly different whine.

  • The whole thing is fake. It's a fake meme. It has nothing to do with the alt-right. Clinton's campaign site was pwnd and they bought off on it.

    • Re:Pepe is a scam (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 27, 2016 @09:03PM (#52973367)

      No, it's a real meme: Feels good man [knowyourmeme.com]. (Feels bad man is an obvious spin-off.)

      The Nazi connection? That's a 100% bullshit joke that Clinton swallowed hook, line, and sinker. She got trolled by 4chan, and HARD, to fall for that. Except that as far as anyone can tell, 4chan never did any "Nazi frog" meme. No one can really figure out where the hell she got that from. It just doesn't exist.

      There is no Pepe/Nazi connection. There never has been, except in Hillary's weird deluded "Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy" pnemonia-addled mind.

      • Re:Pepe is a scam (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 27, 2016 @09:17PM (#52973415)

        The Daily Beast - which "Broke" the pepe story (sourced by a 15 year old joker on twitter, with no political leanings) is owned by IAC publishing.

        Who is on the board of directors of IAC publishing? Chelsea Clinton.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IAC_(company)

        If modern racism is cartoon frogs then maybe time to move on guys.

      • I think the association comes for Trump supporters using the meme to shitpost on the internet and using it in conjunction with Trump talking points or Trump memes (e.g. building a wall, etc.) and eventually some of Trump's campaign starting to use it, though whether they really understood what it was or why people were using it is another question entirely. I can kind of see where the thinking came from, but it's pretty fucking stupid and I have to believe 4chan is probably responsible for trolling some rep
      • Yeah, in the debate last night, everyone thinks Trump made a mistake when he said Hillary has been "fighting ISIS her entire adult life".

        Obviously ISIS hasn't been around that long, but the inside joke is that he didn't mean ISIS, he was referring to a certain guy who asked "what the meaning of IS IS".

        lol
        • Yeah, in the debate last night, everyone thinks Trump made a mistake when he said Hillary has been "fighting ISIS her entire adult life".

          Trump says plenty of stupid things. The left is hurting itself when it jumps on Trump for slight mishaps like this. If he would have said "terrorists" or even "islamic terrorists"
          then he would be pretty much correct and everyone knows it. When people think they are smarter than everyone else and jump on Trump for a slight mishap like this the
          only thing it does is drive his supporters to support him harder and ignore all the real problems with the things he says.
          Unlike most candidates, pounding on his min

        • by ArylAkamov ( 4036877 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @04:26AM (#52974903)

          This.

          It's like how everybody forgot where that "bowl of skittles" meme Trump Jr. posted came from. It was originally a feminist argument for why all men are monsters/rapists.

          Pretty good troll, considering the reaction it got.

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            No, the "bowl of skittles" thing originates from a Nazi children's book [mtholyoke.edu] about Jews.

            A few years back there was a Ben Grelle posted the skittles version as part of a blog post in the wake of the Elliot Rodger misogynist murder spree. He claims it was taken out of context [thefrogman.me], it's up to you if you believe him but given that it was a response to what Rodger did his explanation seems reasonable.

            How did you get from "10% of them are poison" to "all men are rapists"? At most you could say he was suggesting that 10% o

    • by msauve ( 701917 )
      The linked article is completely worthless without pics.
  • by turkeydance ( 1266624 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2016 @09:01PM (#52973359)
    when a hate group makes a hate symbol to make anti-hate groups hate the symbol
  • Time got trolled (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sinij ( 911942 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2016 @09:04PM (#52973381)
    The only logical explanation is that Time got trolled. I certainly don't recall reading anything about Hitler or Third Reich using frog symbols.
    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

      The only logical explanation is that Time got trolled. I certainly don't recall reading anything about Hitler or Third Reich using frog symbols

      You haven't been reading through trending hashtags on twitter then. This shit's real, regardless of who is reporting on it.

    • The only logical explanation is that Time got trolled. I certainly don't recall reading anything about Hitler or Third Reich using frog symbols.

      Nazi frog symbols?

      What about the Vichy French? :)

  • It's not a hate symbol per se, but some racist fuckholes use it as one. There's a difference.

    If I used, I dunno, the "recycle" symbol as a hate symbol, would that make it a hate symbol? No, it would just be some arsehole (me) using it that way.

    But, I suppose with enough usage it would start to be recognized as such and then, yeah, it could probably be considered a hate symbol.

  • Now we know the level of dumb the new Slashdot management is.

    Or just another chink in the chain of media bullshit controlled by garbage in control.

  • Get off the internet and go actually work.

  • by hsthompson69 ( 1674722 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2016 @10:28PM (#52973717)

    ...and then we can declare that a hate symbol too?

    What about the rainbow flag? If sharia enforcing islamists start using rainbow colors, can we declare that a hate symbol?

    What about the word "HATE"? Can we declare that a hate symbol, and ban it?

    WTF, guys, seriously?

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      You can declare anything you want a hate symbol. The question is whether you have the credibility for others to follow your lead.

      • But doesn't that beg the question? Should anyone who proclaims certain words, shapes, or forms as "hate symbols" have any credibility at all?

        • by hey! ( 33014 )

          Well, actually technically speaking you're the one begging the question [wikipedia.org]: you haven't established that either you or I enjoy some kind of privileged position in which we get to condemn other people for condemning language they don't like.

          So by all means condemn them for calling things "hate speech", it's your right; but it's also their right.

          • I was responding to your claim that the question was about "credibility", which is a premise I think requires proof - perhaps you didn't intend it, but your implication was that the ADL had credibility, and therefore was allowed the privileged position from which to condemn other people for language they don't like.

            If your position is that the ADL has no more right than anyone else to declare words, shapes, or forms "hate symbols", then we agree. If your position is that they have the credibility to make s

            • by hey! ( 33014 )

              My position is that anyone can have any opinion they want, and that the significance of that opinion to others depends on whatever level of trust the claimer can command. This puts some people in a de facto privileged position. This can be rational (e.g. privileging an oncologist's opinions on cancer over a layman's) and in other cases not (privileging a fellow mom's opinions about vaccines over an immunologist or toxicologist).

              So my point is that you CAN make any of the claims you suggested, but your aut

              • You make a compelling argument for religion - anyone who has spent time studying God more trusted than what "stands to reason" in your own judgement :)

                Now, if it was simply saying "hey, some hate groups use pepe the frog, and some hate groups use swastikas!", that's one thing. But it strains even the most basic credulity to assign such a thing as "hate" to a mere symbol, stretching the claim further to "any use of pepe the frog or swastikas means you're a hate group!", which, whether ADL intends it or not,

                • by hey! ( 33014 )

                  Anyone who has spent time studying God is a better authority on theology. He's just another guy when it comes to physics.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      The ADL points out that Pepe is not a hate symbol, it is merely used in some neo-Nazi / white supremacist memes.

      Pays to check the primary source [adl.org] before posting reactionary nonsense.

  • But recently, as the Daily Beast reported in May, the character "S" has been co-opted by a faction of Internet denizens who decided to reclaim it from the mainstream, and began sharing it in anti-Semitic contexts. "Images of the letter "S", variously used in words like "sucks", "songbird", and "simple" have appeared in recent weeks in hateful messages aimed at Jewish and other users on Twitter," the ADL wrote in a statement. "Once again, racists and haters have taken a popular letter and twisted it for thei

  • by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Tuesday September 27, 2016 @10:43PM (#52973769)

    so long as he doesn't fat-shame Ms. Piggy.

  • Obviously all this is related to some inside joke in some obscure neighborhood on the internest. Since I'm not a denizen of this sub-division of the netisphere, I'm left out. But I do have something to contribute:

    Certain portions of our world community claim special status based upon historical events. Anyone who says anything they don't like is subject to being labeled 'anti-Semitic' and being blackballed by certain elements of the Power Structure.

    I look forward to the day when we can all see this labeling

    • Certain portions of our world community claim special status based upon historical events.

      You know you know you if you ignore them they cease to exist?
      There are millions of special interest groups that all have their own take on the world, and they survive on attention. GroupXYZ can declare anything they like as evil but if we all ignore them they will eventually go away.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      This is a common tactic in the on-going culture wars: adopt a popular meme and corrupt it to your own agenda, relying on its popularity to make it seem like your cause has more support than it really does.

      I agree with you about ridiculous claims of anti-Semitism though. There was a call on programme on the BBC a few months back where several people called to say that things like criticising Israel's annexing of Palestinian land or methods of self-defence was anti-Semitic. Criticism is not hate speech.

  • We understand your concern with the latest incarnation of hate speech on the Internet. Unfortunately, at this time we are busy trying to figure out how not to get so many black people shot by police. So you will have to excuse us if we don't share your same level of urgency over a cartoon frog.

    Sincerely, the American public.

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @02:35AM (#52974599)

    Some internet trolls take a meme and dress it up to be anti-semitic. For some odd reason this (out of the thousand others that work just the same way) gets the attention of the ADL and they declare the meme, not the dress-up, but the meme, to be anti-semitic.

    Seriously, if I was the troll, I'd feel on top of the world. This must be the apex of trolldom. Ultimate validation.

    • Seriously, if I was the troll, I'd feel on top of the world. This must be the apex of trolldom. Ultimate validation.

      Penultimate. When they take the ADL logo and put a 'stache on it and start trolling Facebook with it, then troll nirvana will have been achieved.

  • by ruir ( 2709173 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @03:52AM (#52974829)
    Has slashdot become the outlet of political correctness gone wrong and pussies of the world united?
    • Has slashdot become the outlet of political correctness gone wrong and pussies of the world united?

      No, it's just the outlet of wrong, since the headline is inflammatory bullshit. The ADL did not declare Pepe to be a hatemonger. They mentioned that some people are making Nazi Pepes, and that some of these are symbols of hate. (Obviously you can make Nazi characters without promoting Nazism, by using them as targets of humor or what have you.)

      Isn't pussies of the world united a lesbian film? Talk about V2V

  • How do these groups justify their existence over 40 years after the junk science of "race" was completely debunked? There is clearly a lot of money to be made by perpetuating junk science and peddling that garbage to the uneducated masses.

    • by meta-monkey ( 321000 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @11:48AM (#52976821) Journal

      How do these groups justify their existence over 40 years after the junk science of "race" was completely debunked?

      It's kind of the other way around. Evolution tells us that different environments create selection pressure for/against different traits, which causes species to differentiate into distinct haplogroups or entirely different species. Most everyone agrees that modern humans left Africa and spread throughout the world between 50,000 - 100,000 years ago. Now if I were to take any other animal, say a canid, and stick a bunch of them in northern europe and a bunch of them in Africa and then ask if you if it's possible that after 100,000 years we'd get very different animals descended from the common ancestors, you'd agree. And if I suggested those differences might be more than mere coloration, but extended to speed, strength, size, and even temperament and intelligence you would probably agree. But if that animal is man instead of a dog you'd call me an evil racist to suggest that perhaps the cold climates of northern europe selected against those humans who weren't intelligent enough to make long-term plans while the year-round abundance of food in Africa selected against the weak and slow but not against the unintelligent.

      We're basically having the Scopes monkey trial all in reverse, where the "progressives" take as dogma the claim that mankind is special and stopped evolving the instant they stepped out of Africa.

      The way the political left gets their power is by first declaring that different groups are equivalent (without evidence or proof), enforcing this false equivalence as a moral issue (you're not just wrong but evil and morally repugnant if you don't agree), then pointing out the differences in outcome between these groups (actually caused by their biological differences, not deliberate actions), but since you've already accepted the false equivalence, the only explanation must be that the more successful group is oppressing the less successful group. This justifies giving political power to the left in order to correct this injustice. If you recognized the fundamental inequality of ability, there would be nothing to do and the left would have no power. It would just be the way it is.

      For instance, in the United States the average IQ for blacks is 85, 92 for Latinos, 100 for whites, 108 for asians, and 115 for Ashkenazi Jews. This correlates very well to income levels for each group. In the US the median incomes for Jews is the highest, followed by Asians, then whites, then Latinos and then blacks. When confronted with this fact, politically motivated leftists will "debunk" the research by attacking the researchers, attacking the tests, and generally by making a bunch of hysterical and fallacious arguments. They then cite each other as proof the research has been "debunked" when in fact it hasn't, and any points they may have had (like for instance the idea that the IQ tests themselves are biased towards one group or another) have been addressed and either explained or corrected. But the results still stand.

      It would be nice if the left would acknowledge this and stop calling society (and whites particularly) evil because, say, the proportion of engineers working at FaceBook who are black doesn't match the proportion of blacks in society. That's basically impossible because when you look at the distribution of intelligence by race [wikimedia.org] a much smaller proportion of blacks have the, say, 120+ IQ required to get through engineering school than whites or asians. No societal injustice is taking place, it's just that bitch Mother Nature.

      So if you want to know how these groups justify their existence, it's because the evil racists are factually correct and the leftists deny basic evolutionary biology because without their false premise of innate equality their ideology falls apart, and no one will give them power anymore.

  • by myowntrueself ( 607117 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @11:15AM (#52976509)

    So if Micky Mouse starts getting portrayed with a hitler mustache, wearing a yarmulke or a Klan hood can we get him declared a hate symbol as well? Because I'd love to see Disney screwed like that.

  • by TheRealHocusLocus ( 2319802 ) on Thursday September 29, 2016 @07:23AM (#52982499)

    First, they came for Pepe the frog.
    I didn't speak up, because I was not a Trump supporter...

    Then, they infiltrated ICANN and began matching expressions to block registration of new 'hateful' domain names.
    Then, the international copyright corpus paid lucrative fees to have trademarks added to the 'hate' blocking database.
    Then, root and 1LD servers began returning NXDOMAIN responses to 'non-compliant' names, regardless of prior existence or fees paid.
    Then, the servers began returning NXDOMAIN responses even if the 'non-compliant' match was in the subdomain portion.
    Then, the servers began silently completing 'non-compliant' name responses to build a database of 'non-compliant' ip addresses.
    Then, the tier 1 companies and consortium ISPs began black-holing non-compliant ip addresses.
    Then, the tier 1s developed the 'ICMP trace-ping' to centrally log attempts to reach non-compliant ip addresses.
    Then, the international non-compliance organization (managed by ICANN) began issuing automated 'takedown' requests for the source ip addresses.
    Then, consortium ISPs streamlined the takedown process and modified their TOS to support the suspension of non-compliant service.
    Then, the FBI and NSA joined TOR to issue a steady stream of 'non-compliant' traffic to ensure that all onion nodes remain suspended.
    Then, countries such as China are maintaining their own clone of the non-compliance framework for their own (eg, Falun Gong) reasons.
    Then, 'peace treaties' between countries are negotiated with conditions that member countries mutually share and implement their respective 'non-compliance' framework.
    Here, my dystopian Internet vision ends.

    Pepe the frog survives, though he is reading a book by candle light.
    Don't get me started on non-compliant books.

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