Neo-Nazis Are Using Something Called “echoes” To Threaten Jews Online. | Gradient
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Neo-Nazis are using something called “echoes” to threaten Jews online.

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On Wednesday, Mic took a deep dive into something called “echoes,” an alt-right Neo-Nazi tactic used to harass Jews online. Simply put, whenever online antisemites come across a Jewish person they want to target, they put the person’s name inside three parenthesis — like (((Lieberman))) — to identify them for trolling on Twitter and Facebook.

Here’s a particularly gross example of Jonathan Weisman — a deputy editor for The New York Times — being echoed on Twitter.

The echoing tweeted out by “@CyberTrump” (huh) called in his cyber troll army. “The anti-Semitic hate, much of it from self-identified Donald J. Trump supporters, hasn’t stopped since,” Weisman wrote for the NYT.

According to Mic, echoes got their start on a far-right antisemitic podcast (what a world) called The Daily Shoah, an offshoot of a website called Right Stuff. Back in 2014, when the podcast started, the podcast’s hosts got in the habit of adding a sinister-sounding echo to the surnames of any Jewish people they talked about. The podcast gained a following on the alt-right, the name given to today’s new legion of young, white, SJW-hating, first amendment-obsessed males. They took the “echoing” tic and brought it to the dark, slimy corners of the internet, the natural habitat of alt-right culture. In an email to Mic editors, the Right Stuff editors explained the three ((()))’s in detail that would be laughable if it wasn’t so disgusting.

“The inner parenthesis represent the Jews’ subversion of the home [and] destruction of the family through mass-media degeneracy. The next [parenthesis] represents the destruction of the nation through mass immigration, and the outer [parenthesis] represents international Jewry and world Zionism.”

Once echoed, Jewish writers online lives become a living hell, and it can bleed over into their offline lives as well. There are stories of Jewish writers receiving death threats, getting doxxed, and even receiving phone calls. And we haven’t even gotten to the horrible memes, which often involve Jewish concentration camps, Hitler, Trump or some combination of them all. Scroll through some examples, and you’ll see references to ovens, showers, and an image of Auschwitz with “Make America Great Again” photoshopped into one of the signs. It’s ugly stuff.

With all the bigotry and hatred we have to discuss in America (Islamophobia, homophobia, misogyny, white supremacy, the list goes sadly on), antisemitism — one of the world’s oldest bigotries — tends to get shuffled aside, which may be an example of antisemitism in and of itself. It remains a serious and growing problem in Europe, and Trump’s race-baiting tactics have pulled it squealing and screeching out into the daylight here in the US.

The echoes work well, because most sites don’t allow you to search for punctuation. Any antisemitic troll can signal their own legion of followers that they’ve picked someone new out for harassment, but the victim won’t be able to search for their name and the echo to see where it began and report them for harassment. It’s another flaw in Twitter’s increasingly flawed means of protecting users from hate speech and bullying. But more importantly, it’s a reminder that whatever happens in November’s election, the evil, racist genie Trump has unleashed is going to be tough to put back in the bottle.

If you enjoy ‘Reactions’, subscribe to our podcast In Case You Missed It.  

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