WASHINGTON — The Anti-Defamation league announced Monday it would add a symbol that is pervasively used to target Jews on social media to its online database of hate symbols.
In recent weeks, the (((Echo))) symbol has been increasingly employed by white supremacists and neo-Nazis online to identify Jews, placing the target’s name in between parentheses.
The symbol will now be included in the ADL’s Hate on Display list, which accumulates symbols that carry vitriolic connotations, such as the swastika.
“The echo symbol is the online equivalent of tagging a building with anti-Semitic graffiti or taunting someone verbally,” ADL chief Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement.
A series of Jewish journalists are of late on the receiving end of this harassment, including GQ and Politico contributor Julia Ioffe, New York Times editor Jonathan Weisman, The Atlantic national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg, The New York Post contributor Bethany Mandel and Tablet magazine senior writer Yair Rosenberg.
In response to this trend, a number of Twitter users — Jews and otherwise — began to put the parentheses around their own Twitter username as an expression of solidarity, and as a way to appropriate the symbol from trolls.
Want to raise awareness about anti-Semitism, show solidarity with harassed Jews & mess with the Twitter Nazis? Put ((( ))) around your name.
— Yair Rosenberg (@Yair_Rosenberg) June 3, 2016
Many of the perpetrators of this online abuse are self-identified supporters of Donald Trump’s presidential bid. Despite being urged by the ADL to denounce this anti-Semitic invective directed toward journalists and others on social media, the presumptive Republican nominee has declined to explicitly do so.
Last week, the ADL announced it was forming a task force to analyze the escalation of anti-Semitic and racist harassment toward Jewish journalists and propose an effective response by the end of the summer.
“Journalists are used to being criticized, but this election cycle we repeatedly have seen criticism quickly cross the line into ugly anti-Semitic and other hateful attacks including death threats,” Greenblatt said.
Two of the victims of the recent abuse — Ioffe and Mandel — were included in the task force.