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“Pepe The Frog” — A Meme Shared By Trump And Trump, Jr. — Identified As Hate Symbol By Anti-Defamation League

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“Pepe the Frog” — a meme co-opted by white supremacists and recently shared on social media by both Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump, Jr. — has been declared an anti-Semitic hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League.

“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 Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. 

“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.”

Trump retweeted the “Pepe” meme in October 2015 — among the other instances he has retweeted white supremacists and white supremacist memes — and earlier this month Trump, Jr. shared a meme featuring the character on Instagram.

Last month, the Trump campaign officially brought onboard former Breitbart CEO Steve Bannon, a site that has served as a hub of the so-called “Alt-Right”, white supremacist movement.

“Pepe the Frog is a huge favorite white supremacist meme,” Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center has said about the Pepe. “It’s constantly used in those circles.”

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It’s not uncommon to find replies to Trump’s tweets filled to the brim with Pepe avatars, and the frog is a fixture in alt-right breeding grounds like 4chan and Trump’s dedicated Reddit community, r/The_Donald. The ADL likens it to the use of the (((echo))) symbol, which the alt-right has used in the past to identify Jewish users for harassers to target.