Identifying alt-right dog whistles has long been a favorite pastime for progressive social media users, with each corner of the Internet specializing in one pitch or another: Facebookers focus on fighting Islamophobia, while Tumblr users tend to get more triggered by transphobia. Redditors REEEEE at Antisemites, whereas Tweeters trade more in the dismantling of white privilege and white supremacy, plus the degradation and humiliation of white people in general.
By and large, there has been very little overlap between platforms, with users preferring to focus their woke virtue signaling on one or the other, the release of serotonin into the NeuroPlastic Cortex increasing exponentially with every like and share.
One controversial symbol is now threatening to upset the existing social media order.
On Twitter and Tumblr, it is known as the “hashtag” and used to tag posts or simply virtue signal catchy words and phrases to likeminded individuals. But on Reddit it has taken on a far more sinister meaning. They call it the fashtag, and it is an antisemitic symbol of bigotry and oppression.
Reddit first became aware of the hashtag symbol last Tuesday morning at a quarter past nine. Prior to that it was known only as the “pound” or “number” sign. As it had clearly originated on Twitter (where Nazis are given platform) and had no practical usage whatsoever on Reddit (except as a number sign), the hashtag was met with suspicion and uncertainty, many fearing it could be used as a tool of oppression against vulnerable minorities.
u/EugeneSuperSoi was one of the few brave Redditors who dared venture out from the safety of the echo chamber to do some Internet Research. His first and only stop? The ADL’s Hate Symbols on Display Database.
Though a search of the database failed to turned up any trace of the hashtag, EugeneSuperSoi did manage to learn that just about every possible numerical combination has already been co-opted by white supremacists.
Eugene’s discovery gave him pause. Numbers. Number sign. Numbers. Number sign. Eugene felt that he was on to something.
Approximately 7,632 Nazi hate symbols in, Eugene stumbled upon the Othala Rune, a hate symbol popular with pre-Roman Nazis. But it wasn’t until he’d finished frowning his disapproval at the monitor (as he had with the other 7,631) that Eugene realized his discovery.
When Eugene realized the truth, soy shot out of his nose.
Four Othala Runes could be placed together to recreate the number sign — the “hashtag” — which he was already beginning to think of as the fashtag.
One further discovery sealed the deal:
Now Eugene is on a quest. It is quite possibly the most important quest he will ever undertake — perhaps the most important thing any Redditor has ever done with they/them’s life: Eugene means to have the fashtag officially recognized as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League. And then he wants it permanently banned from the Internet.
Eugene has received significant support from his comrades on r/politics, but the Twitter #Resistance is anything but pleased. Tensions run high, with neither Eugene nor his Twitter counterpart (@eugenegu) willing to discount the possibly of meme warfare.
Yet more level heads have asked: How would they meet in battle when they can’t even figure out how to use each other’s platforms — and the left can’t meme anyway?
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