ADL adds (((echo))) symbol to hate list

Jewish writer targeted on Twitter says group’s move was correct.

June 9, 2016 03:55
2 minute read.
Boycott Israel sign

Boycott Israel sign. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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After the Anti-Defamation League announced on Tuesday that it is adding the triple parentheses – or stylized (((echo))) symbol used to single out Jews on Twitter to its online hate symbols database, Jewish New York Post columnist Bethany Mandel said the move was the right thing to do because the sign is “a hateful way to identify Jews by pointing out their otherness.”

The echo symbol, which originated in an anti-Semitic podcast in 2014, has lately been used to highlight the names of those perceived to be Jewish and singling them out for harassment both online and off.

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But in the past few days a number of Jewish users on Twitter, such as Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, have coopted the parenthesis and used them around their names in a show of solidarity with those targeted by neo-Nazis and other extremists.

Mandel is among the group of journalists which has recently been targeted with the symbol by people with anonymous Twitter accounts.

“They do it to point out I’m Jewish, which I don’t exactly feel like is an insult of any sort so it doesn’t really bother me,” she told The Jerusalem Post.

Mandel believes most of those who attacked her online are “Anti-Semites who have come out of the woodwork this election cycle.”

She added that although presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s lack of political correctness is “incredibly refreshing after spending eight years of being called racist for opposing Barack Obama on anything,” extremists on the Right have “latched onto him, with thinking that includes their non-politically correct thoughts on Jews.”

“He has done nothing to repudiate their hope that he’ll stand up to their perceived view of Jews’ power, which only fuels them more,” Mandel told the Post.

“He’s been asked countless times to repudiate the behavior of his fans and has refused to do so.”

Last week, after pressure from ADL, Google removed an anti-Semitic “Coincidence Detector” browser extension from its Chrome Web Store that was reputedly being employed by some to track Jews.

The browser app used the echo symbol to single out those identified as Jews or having presumed Jewish last names such as “Rogen” or “Lieberman.”

“The echo symbol is the online equivalent of tagging a building with anti-Semitic graffiti or taunting someone verbally,” ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt, said.

“We at ADL take this manifestation of online hate seriously, and that’s why we’re adding this symbol to our database and working with our partners in the tech industry to investigate this phenomenon more deeply.”

ADL founded the Hate on Display database in October 2000 as part of its effort to track hate groups and help law enforcement, educators and other members of the public to identify those symbols that serve as calling cards of extremists and anti-Semites.

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