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Racist Trolls Have Weaponized the Parenthesis to ID (((Jews)))

Racist Trolls Have Weaponized the Parenthesis to ID (((Jews))): David Butow / Contributor

David Butow / Contributor

Have pity for the poor neo-Nazis. They need a lot of help figuring out who the Jews are these days. Why else would they need an app for that? Or, you know, why else would they be calling people with extremely German last names Jewish? (Hi. More on that later.)

But–unfortunately–there is an app for that! Actually, there was a Google Chrome extension that neo-Nazis, anti-Semites, white nationalists and other “people” used to track 8,000 names and add the new, magical ((())) Jew-identifying punctuation around each supposedly Jewish person. One of the Jewish folks named was Donald Trump’s son-in-law, which might prove uncomfortable for the (way too large) cross-section of Trump fans, alt-righters and actual Neo-Nazis who are all in on the ((())) thing. Chrome has since kicked “Coincidence Detector” out of its store, and the Nazis will now have to find another way of identifying Jews.

So what’s the deal with this parenthesis thing, anyway?

It has in the past given me great satisfaction to remind neo-Nazis that their weak-ass “secret” numerical codes in which “88” stands for “Heil Hitler” and “14” stands for 14 stupid racist words by some guy from The Order have been cracked. You’re not cool, neo-Nazis. You’re actually sad losers playing racist spy. Not unlike your nerdier cousins the “grand wizards” and “dragons” of the KKK.

However, I must admit that the new (((Echoes))) thing has taken me by surprise. It seems that alt-righters, neo-Nazis and whatever you want to call the racist trolls who either pretend they’re kidding about being racist or are deadly serious, well, they’re figuring out exciting new ways to be racist.

Putting parenthesis around a name is based on some crackpot idea about how Jewish sins “echo” through history. So if you @ someone on Twitter and put the parenthesis around their name, the idea seems to be that you know that they are Jewish, and you want them to know you know, and you’re aware of all of the terrible, gentile-eating, world-running, banking things Jews have been accused of doing since the dawn of time. And also, when that person is parenthesized, that means other terrible people can be sure that they are Jewish.

In a show of solidarity with the targeted, some gentiles on Twitter are (((echoing))) themselves.

Earlier this week two Twitter trolls found me because I made a dumb joke to a friend about how I thought he had written that “Jews” not “Jaws” had a bad sequel, a comment I made because I had been reading too much about the alt-right. Thankfully, the tweeter with the deeply unfunny, easy-to-figure-out last name of “Ovenkin” (a one-two punch of mocking the Holocaust and the “SJWs” of Tumblr, including “otherkin”) took this in the way it was intended–mocking the alt right and its frequent racism–and therefore declared me a big Jew(ess).

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I am not Jewish, but denying it seemed like it would feed their delusions. The two bozos who went after me did not feel threatening enough to block. I just let them run their digital mouths until they got bored. (Alright, I may have told one of them to “jerk off on The Turner Diaries.”)

There was nothing in their bios that supported Trump, but their timelines suggested generally positive feelings towards him. This is a small sample size, but it was a tiny taste of what more prominent Trump-haters have been getting from the alt-right Twitter mob.


Lucy Steigerwald is a contributing editor for Antiwar.com. Twitter: @lucystag.

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