Is the # sign a symbol of Nazism and white supremacy? 4chan is trying to make people think so
Trolls on the infamous 4chan forum are attempting to co-opt the innocent hashtag and turn it into a symbol of white nationalism called the “fashtag” — but don’t worry, it’s not a real thing, and you can keep hashtagging as normal.
The 4chan pranksters are trying to trick social media users (and the media) into believing that it is a secret alt-right symbol, however — and some “disgusted” Twitter users have been urging their followers to immediately cease all use of the popular pound sign.
We need to stop facism and nazis within current society. i just found out that the # symbol is a hidden nazi symbol that white supremacists and nazis use to communicate to each other with. im disgusted everyone has to stop using the hashtag symbol NOW! #ashtag#kickthenazi#4chanpic.twitter.com/oY4IFQmKiG— xraypandaz (@xraypandaz) May 25, 2019
It all started with a post on the /pol/ (“politically incorrect”) message board, in which an anonymous user calls on fellow 4chan-ers to “start using # to represent the swastika on memes and social media.”
It will be “the perfect win-win situation,” the user writes, adding that Twitter (where the symbol is used most frequently) “will have to accept blatant nazism on its forum's [sic] or it will effectively have to find a way to get rid of the sites [sic] core mechanics.” Co-opting the hashtag could “f*ck up Twitter” and “force corporations to stop putting hashtags on every f*cking ad ever,” the nameless user continued.
The campaign was dubbed ‘Bash the Hash’ in a reference to the anti-fascist ‘Bash the Fash’ memes — and some social media users quickly bought into the whole thing, tweeting warnings that the inoffensive pound sign is a “hate symbol of the right,” proving how easily the public can be duped and manipulated.
Not everyone was fooled, however…
Watching dumbasses think this is legit is the best entertainment I have seen in a VERY long time. #bashthehash— Blake S (@HUSK3RGAM3R) May 28, 2019
Sooooooooo, 4chan is at it again. Now the # is a white supremacy symbol. They even use #bashthehash to advertise it. First it’s the 👌 symbol, now this. Bwahahahaha at how quickly the dolts jump on it also. You just can’t make..... oh, wait.— DeerBarber (@DeerBarber) May 27, 2019
It's not the first time 4chan pranksters have tried to convince people that a seemingly innocent and innocuous gesture was actually a secret alt-right signal.
In 2017, the “OK” hand gesture meaning ‘thanks’ fell prey to a similar 4chan effort to promote it as a signal used by white supremacists. The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) even included it in its database of “hate symbols” and explained it was used by both genuine white supremacists and regular right-wingers “for the purpose of trolling liberals.”
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