Anti-Defamation League Designates ‘Pepe The Frog’ A Hate Symbol
Pepe the Frog, an Internet meme born back in 2005, has been designated a hate symbol due to its proliferation in anti-Semitic online circles.
Pepe The Frog Hate Symbol
The Anti-Defamation League announced Wednesday that Pepe the Frog had been added to the database of hate symbols, as the meme character has been repeatedly depicted as Adolf Hitler and KKK leaders.
“Once again, racists and haters have taken a popular Internet meme and twisted it for their own purposes of spreading bigotry and harassing users,” Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO said in a statement. “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.”
“The mere fact of posting a Pepe meme does not mean that someone is racist or white supremacist,” the group added. “However, if the meme itself is racist or anti-Semitic in nature, or if it appears in a context containing bigoted or offensive language or symbols, then it may have been used for hateful purposes.”
The need for the ADL’s designation comes after white power groups and members of the alt-right community co-opted the formerly harmless meme. Such groups, many of which have come out in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, have tweeted Pepe memes that include the candidate.
Trump, incidentally, has retweeted such images.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015
Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., notably posted a controversial Pepe the Frog meme on Instagram.
A friend sent me this. Apparently I made the cut as one of the Deplorables??? All kidding aside I am honored to be grouped with the hard working men and women of this great nation that have supported @realdonaldtrump and know that he can fix the mess created by politicians in Washington. He’s fighting for you and won’t ever quit. Thanks for your trust! #trump2016 #maga #makeamericagreatagain #basketofdeplorables
A photo posted by Donald Trump Jr. (@donaldjtrumpjr) on
The formerly beloved Pepe the Frog meme was created by Matt Furie in 2005 for the “Boy’s Club” cartoons. Since then, the meme has had a number of iterations, including, Angry Pepe, Keith Haring Pepe and Smug Frog.