Thursday, June 2, 2016

((( and the Online Anti-Semite Harassment Brigades

Apparently anti-semites use (((name))) to indicate to their friends that someone is a Jew who needs to be attacked on social media, which - as this article explains - is hard for the non-initiated to track.

It's clever and ugly. I removed links in the quote below, as I don't want you accidentally clicking over. You can go above to the Mic link.
The origin of (((echoes)))
The symbol comes from right-wing blog the Right Stuff, whose podcast The Daily Shoah featured a segment called "Merchant Minute" that gave Jewish names a cartoonish "echo" sound effect when uttered. The "parenthesis meme," as Right Stuff editors call it, is a visual pun.
In Right Stuff propaganda, you'll often read that Jewish names "echo." According to the blog's lexicon page, "all Jewish surnames echo throughout history." In other words, the supposed damage caused by Jewish people reverberates from decade to decade.
Hard to search:
If you try to search for "(((Last Name)))," Twitter's search engine strips the results of the parentheses, yielding every single result for the last name, the sheer size of which obscures instances of the symbol being used.
Try searching for random combinations of parentheses on Twitter, Reddit or Google. Try searching Google for "site:twitter.com '((('" or a similar query. Try looking for (((Mic))) in a Google search. The results drop the parentheses from the search.
Filtering is possible using the app TweetDeck, which has the ability to mute punctuation like parentheses. But the larger issue is the Twitter community's ability to identify and police hate speech. Singling out a particular method of harassment is more difficult when Twitter has to rely on users reporting single tweets, rather than being able to search for everyone who's using the construction. A spotlight on ((())) would let users and Twitter developers shut down the problem much faster.
I pass as non-Jewish due to my first and last name and my overtly secular identity. But I'm Jewish, at least in their eyes.

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