a code that's difficult to filter whose meaning incites waves of hate
June 2, 2016 8:44 AM   Subscribe

 
I feel like someone cleverer than I could throw together a filter for this to make finding and reporting easier.
posted by Think_Long at 8:55 AM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is written a bit too breathlessly for me, as if the unsearchability is somehow devious and not simply dumb. Like most neo-Nazi codes, the cleverness is over-rated, because the threat isn't the sub-group of people stupid enough to hang out with neo-Nazis, it's much larger trends and systematic prejudices by people who have all the right attitudes towards Hitler and swastikas.

Presumably, Twitter is now alerted and they will be on the lookout for this behavior. Perhaps they'll have to rewrite a few lines of code in their internal search engine, first.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:56 AM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


The article notes you can't search for it, which makes it kind of a useless way to paint a target on someone. I get the impression it's really more a way for antisemites to say "found the Jew!", which is bad enough.
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:57 AM on June 2, 2016 [12 favorites]


This is incredibly disturbing.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:00 AM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


'(i (thought they) ((had) just) (started) ((((programming) in) lisp)))
posted by miyabo at 9:00 AM on June 2, 2016 [52 favorites]


Presumably, Twitter is now alerted and they will be on the lookout for this behavior.

That would be the first time that happens, then.
posted by griphus at 9:00 AM on June 2, 2016 [81 favorites]


Presumably, Twitter is now alerted and they will be on the lookout for this behavior.

what? no, twitter doesn't care, twitter will never care.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:03 AM on June 2, 2016 [28 favorites]


Thanks for this post, a spotlight of sunlight is the best way to disinfect these blights on humanity.

But I more and more wonder what's behind it. Most racist and antisemitic elements I've looked at closely have an opportunistic basis. That is not starting out with "pure" haters but someone *using* the hate to control, or profit from folks that are in a position due to poverty or lack of education to be controlled. The history of the KKK was that it had elements of multi-level marketing and almost died out at one point when that was exposed.

So more than the sunlight we need to turn over some rocks to really understand where the slime grows and who is feeding it. Someone is making money, I don't think it's specifically Trump but he does seem to react without deep examination of issues which which can be a tool used by more reactionary(opportunistic) players.
posted by sammyo at 9:04 AM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


Twitter is probably happy, because neo-Nazis are creating lots of sockpuppet accounts to harass Jewish journalists (and also, as it turns out, non-Jewish journalists with names that sound vaguely Jewish.)

I am sort of thinking about putting some parentheses around the name I use on twitter, just so we're all clear.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 9:06 AM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


So more than the sunlight we need to turn over some rocks to really understand where the slime grows and who is feeding it. Someone is making money, I don't think it's specifically Trump but he does seem to react without deep examination of issues which which can be a tool used by more reactionary(opportunistic) players.

Well I mean we can talk about the intersection of race and class and talk about how racial oppression is used by the ruling class to divide the working class (which does not invalidate it on its own and the abolition of economic class would not, of course, be the abolition of racial oppression no matter how much certain lefties want to believe it would be) but you can't really discount the fact that there's a lot of people who enjoy their feelings of racial animus and who enjoy acting on that racial animus. No conspiracy theory needed.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:07 AM on June 2, 2016 [17 favorites]


Presumably, Twitter is now alerted and they will be on the lookout for this behavior.

I laughed for real.
posted by mhoye at 9:08 AM on June 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Can we just all start diluting it by tweeting things like (((fluffy kittens))) or (((little yellow duckies!))) or something? There's gotta be a way to get them to feel too foolish to do this. I suppose they'll just move on and figure out another way to spread their hate, but it would make me really happy if we could all make 'em feel really dumb.
posted by bondcliff at 9:08 AM on June 2, 2016 [20 favorites]


As one white supremacist tweeted, "It's closed captioning for the Jew-blind."
Ha, you inbred racist mush-brains. The blind can't see closed captioning.

Next, you're going to tell the Jews to make like a tree and get out of here, I bet.
posted by ignignokt at 9:08 AM on June 2, 2016 [54 favorites]


Just what I was thinking, (((puppies))) and (((my little pony)))!!!
posted by sammyo at 9:09 AM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Can we just all start diluting it by tweeting things like (((fluffy kittens))) or (((little yellow duckies!))) or something?

So the problem is that it is working as well as it does because unlike a hashtag you can't dilute it without getting a lot of people to have a long-term false-flag sort of operation within Nazi Twitter (or w/e). It's not searchable, so you have to be plugged into the network (i.e. following a shitload of supremacists) to even see it appear on your feed, and they need to be following you for anything you say to have an effect.
posted by griphus at 9:10 AM on June 2, 2016 [12 favorites]


Anything is scary when backed by threats and violence, but on the face of it, Neo-Nazi codes always seem like something made up by an 8-year-old boy.

Heil Hitler = HH => H is the eighth letter of the alphabet => Let's put "88" on our shorts! It's a Dark Code!
posted by ignignokt at 9:11 AM on June 2, 2016 [38 favorites]


this is truly frightening

but at the same time, the pedant in me can't help but respond to a racist idea like "Jewish surnames echo through the centuries" by thinking "don't be stupid - most Jews didn't have family names until recently. They had patronymics."
posted by jb at 9:12 AM on June 2, 2016 [14 favorites]


Users: can we deal with harassment please?
Twitter: we are serious about this.
Users: Ok, so, harassment. You're going to fix this, right, there are patterns of
Twitter: Yes, definitely. Stars are now hearts.
Users: wait but
Twitter: Serious about it. Timelines are now in random order.
Users: stop, no
Twitter: Everyone sees all your new conversations.
Users: please
Twitter: Very serious. Some words don't count as words. Scrolling goes sideways.
posted by mhoye at 9:13 AM on June 2, 2016 [124 favorites]


The sad thing is I read (((these))) as hugs.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:14 AM on June 2, 2016 [21 favorites]


Well there's a hell of a lot more about it that's sad, but you get my gist.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:15 AM on June 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'd read the NYT piece referenced in the article this weekend, and it was really chilling. And the thing is, Trump has a lot of Jewish supporters, who all point to Ivanka as some sort of proof that he can't be dangerous. I just don't even know where to start.
posted by Mchelly at 9:33 AM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


An asterisk was too on the nose?
posted by lmfsilva at 9:37 AM on June 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


Once in a while I think about informally using my mom's very Jewish (and imo more euphonic and historically resonant) surname in place of my dad's generically WASPy one. I don't know if this kind of shit makes me want to do this more or less.
posted by theodolite at 9:40 AM on June 2, 2016


Trump has a lot of Jewish supporters, who all point to Ivanka as some sort of proof that he can't be dangerous.

Yeah, much like how gay rights flourished under the Bush administration because of Dick Cheney's daughter.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:42 AM on June 2, 2016 [57 favorites]


Are we still not allowed to compare Trump to Hitler?

You know who else was extraordinarily popular and looked up to as a leadership figure by anti-Semites and Nazi sympathizers?
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:46 AM on June 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


The (((solution))) is (((dilution))). (((Everyone))) puts (((parentheses))) around (((everything)))
posted by notsnot at 9:47 AM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I would do anything for tolerance (((but I won't do that.)))
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:49 AM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Don't tell this to Sunno)))
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:52 AM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


These people so busy hating. There lives must be sadly bereft of love.
posted by notreally at 9:56 AM on June 2, 2016


That's interesting. We always use parens to signify hugging...

e.g.: (((.))) A hug and a moment of silence.

Guess assholes with fuck up anything.
posted by mikelieman at 9:57 AM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Faint of Butt: "You know who else was extraordinarily popular and looked up to as a leadership figure by anti-Semites and Nazi sympathizers?"

Ronald Reagan?
posted by Mitheral at 10:00 AM on June 2, 2016 [20 favorites]


I am so confused by this. Yes, search engines strip punctuation out of search terms, by convention. So you can't easily search for this pattern. This, as was pointed out upthread, cuts both ways: your average enterprising young anti-semite can't just go looking for examples of this in the wild, even if he's clued in to the code. Which means that anyone who wants to use this device to target someone needs to have (1) a bunch of extant followers who (2) are the kind of lunatics who will harass complete strangers based on the insinuation that they're Jewish. The problem isn't this weird syntax; the problem is that (1) and (2) exist in sufficient numbers that people can weaponize them.
posted by Mayor West at 10:02 AM on June 2, 2016 [15 favorites]


This makes me want to fight back with emoji hearts around everyone's names.
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:04 AM on June 2, 2016


I haven't seen this in the wild. I must know the wrong nazis.
posted by Yowser at 10:06 AM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


In other words: there are already a bunch of white supremacists out there advocating for vile things. The internet has given them a platform and an easy way to organize. They already have a bunch of existing connections amongst themselves. If you could get rid of this (((nonsense))) tomorrow by waving your magic wand, you would still have a bunch of white supremacists who are in contact with each other and have no fear of making public threats.
posted by Mayor West at 10:08 AM on June 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


the unsearchability is somehow devious and not simply dumb.

It is devious and not dumb. You can report overt threats to Twitter. You can report harassment. You can report antisemitism, etc. You can even search for these things and report it. People do get banned from Twitter for this sort of thing. They also go to court for it. Not often enough, but it happens.

But this is "Who will rid me of this troublesome priest?" reconstructed as punctuation. This is six parenthesis used to unleash a torrent of abuse, and it was selected specifically because it is both not searchable and not obvious in its message.

Your comment somehow managed to both underestimate the terror that a small group of dedicated haters can do and overestimate the extent to which Twitter cares about addressing this, which gets it exactly backwards. I have seen Twitter weaponized against many groups, and it terrifies me, as a Jew, that it is now being weaponized against Jews. I would prefer that this threat -- which, based on past Twitter harrassment campaigns, can be life-destroying -- not be instantly minimized.
posted by maxsparber at 10:14 AM on June 2, 2016 [18 favorites]


I wonder what that means for SiriusXM?
posted by Badgermann at 10:17 AM on June 2, 2016


FWIW the "dilution" approach won't work. This is about people being targeted by prominent Twitter-using neo-nazis, not people searching twitter for triple-nested parentheses.
posted by mhoye at 10:20 AM on June 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


Yeah, much like how gay rights flourished under the Bush administration because of Dick Cheney's daughter.

There's a difference, though. Far right white nationalists who support Trump's anti-immigrant nativism and Islamophobia tend to have anti-Semitic views, but that doesn't mean Trump has any. Certainly none of his proposals have anything to do with anti-Semitism. Whereas with the Bush administration both the leadership and the rank and file were fellow travelers. Plus Mary Cheney was another step further away from President Bush, not his own child.

Still hoping Trump accidentally fractures the alt-right by selecting a Jewish vice president and/or Jewish cabinet members.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:22 AM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have seen Twitter weaponized against many groups, and it terrifies me, as a Jew, that it is now being weaponized against Jews.

I don't mean to minimize your fear. I merely spoke for myself: it does not terrify me, as a Jew.

I mean, the fact that Neo-Nazis target people terrorizes me (and they've been doing that on Twitter for a while now), and the idea that they'd target me for commenting here made me wary even to type the sentence above, but the particular "code" doesn't seem all that devious to me.
posted by anotherpanacea at 10:25 AM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I wonder about people maybe... displaying their handles in echo, even if just for a short time, to raise awareness of the existence of coded hate speech. Of course the echo would be dropped immediately by neonazis to be replaced by something else, but at least people would be on the lookout for odd symbols, or just know it's out there. Pair it with something like "Fascists are targeting Jewish people in Twitter by surrounding their targets' names with ((())). We all deserve to be safe from hate."

Unlike most slacktivism, however, this would come with significant risks. Who would bell the cat and all that...
posted by infinitelives at 10:31 AM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Jeez, I've used curly brackets recently to denote a virtual hug, because I thought that that was still a thing. Damnit. I hate internet Nazis.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:37 AM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Bad News for (((SiriusXM))).
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:38 AM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


This is six parenthesis used to unleash a torrent of abuse, and it was selected specifically because it is both not searchable and not obvious in its message.

I guess I'm missing a step here. The target of the abuse won't see anything until they're actually harassed, at which point there is something to report and an account to ban. What exactly are we trying to police here? The idea that some people want to harass others?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 10:39 AM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


I mean the "deviousness" of it isn't the "my master plan has come to fruition!" deviousness but the kind of deviousness that is poking your finger a centimeter from your eye yelling "i'm not touching you!" knowing full well no repercussions will occur unless you actually make contact.
posted by griphus at 10:40 AM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


...at which point there is something to report and an account to ban.

Well, there's 100+ accounts to ban. And they won't be banned because if Twitter actually did something about mass harassment there wouldn't have been a GamerGate. The tools to report multiple tweets at once didn't even exist until very recently. If you wanted to report 100 accounts for harassing you, you had to make 100 individual reports.
posted by griphus at 10:41 AM on June 2, 2016 [7 favorites]


What exactly are we trying to police here? The idea that some people want to harass others?

Please read the article. The parentheses are a dog whistle to anti-Semite netizens that amounts to "Jew spotted here, everyone, do as you will". Goes an eensy bit beyond some vaguely-formed idea of wanting to harass a person.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:43 AM on June 2, 2016 [7 favorites]




For the love of god, nobody teach these neo-Nazis about the hamburger. {/}
posted by rorgy at 11:09 AM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah, see, I get that. Twitter absolutely sucks at dealing with harassment. That's a separate issue.

poking your finger a centimeter from your eye yelling "i'm not touching you!"

...except in this case it's a matter of someone poking their finger a centimeter from their computer screen while viewing your online profile and yelling "I'm not touching you!". Even a hundred idiots doing that isn't going to have any effect at all.

Imagine instead of identifying a Jewish person, the target was a famous personality, like Donald Trump*. You make a tweet about Trump, that's fine. You can even rename him Drumpf, another kind of dog whistle, and it will be a code to all your followers equal to this parenthesis nonsense. But until someone actually tags him in, it's nothing.

GamerGate is a great comparison. Is it OK for those idiots to demean and insult women and use coded language like SJW and white knight to identify their targets? No, certainly not. But to prevent them from saying that crap to each other is a bit of precrime and thought policing. Once they step over the line and actually target someone, then the hammer needs to fall.

We're in a very weird time, and it's way too easy to get into an us vs. them mentality. Hell, the #IStandWithHateSpeech or whatever that hashtag was happened just last night, and that was stupid. I stand with free speech, sure, but I'm not going to stand with hate speech while doing it. So I guess I'm trying to thread a very fine needle with this one. I in no way support these (((racists))), but honestly... people are worried that someone is putting parenthesis around their names online? That's the best outrage you got?

*Obviously as a political figure rather than a private citizen the level of acceptable communication is different, but that's in degree, not kind.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 11:11 AM on June 2, 2016


But the thing is ((person)) still means sending a hug. I'm not going to stop using it when it's useful, and not only virtual-hugging Jewish people.

It's not even the fact that racists are using ((())) to tag people for harrassment. As others have said, if Twitter banned the use of multiple parens, they'd just use another method. I mean, it's out in the open what they're doing and why. Once you're not ashamed to say "I'm belling the cat for my fellow goyim", then ((Jew)) is the same as ---> Jew is the same as 👽 Jew.

The problem isn't the code, or that a code exists. The problem is that people are acting as weaponized masses to attack people, and are being completely open about the fact that they are doing so, and the companies who run the technology that makes it possible refuse to do anything meaningful to stop them.

I don't want to see SWATing or other real-world next step attacks on targeted Jews - or any other minority (which is currently happening, with women) - just because the people who have the power to police this sort of thing refuse to do anything.
posted by Mchelly at 11:13 AM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


((()))

sure looks like an asshole to me.
posted by chavenet at 11:14 AM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


GamerGate is a great comparison. Is it OK for those idiots to demean and insult women and use coded language like SJW and white knight to identify their targets? No, certainly not. But to prevent them from saying that crap to each other is a bit of precrime and thought policing.

It isn't at all. The parentheses don't mean "I hate Jews," which is odious but not illegal (although it is against Twitter's terms of service.) It means "Go get them."

Online harassment is much more than people being mean to each other online. It is a deliberate attempt to terrorize the other person. Gamergate wasn't just some men being asses online. It was bomb threats and death threats and getting people fired and ruining people's credit and any other awful thing that someone could think to do remotely. And if you can marshal that sort of response, "go get them" isn't a free speech issue, it isn't precrime, it's actual crime. Inciting speech has never been protected by US law.
posted by maxsparber at 11:20 AM on June 2, 2016 [28 favorites]


We're in a very weird time, and it's way too easy to get into an us vs. them mentality.
I mean, I'm pretty much ok getting into an us vs. them mentality when it comes to literal neo-Nazis.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 11:22 AM on June 2, 2016 [43 favorites]


GhostintheMachine: people are worried that someone is putting parenthesis around their names online? That's the best outrage you got?
Uh no. People are receiving death threats and graphic pictures of atrocious war crimes. Did you read the article?
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:23 AM on June 2, 2016 [18 favorites]


Make a code to mark suspected gun nuts, then. That would get them in their paranoia, wouldn't it?
posted by cookie-k at 11:25 AM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


We're in a very weird time, and it's way too easy to get into an us vs. them mentality.

We are indeed in a weird time when you seem ok with defending neo-Nazis so as not to contribute to an "us vs. them mentality."

What would qualify as a good time to employ such a mentality?
posted by OmieWise at 11:38 AM on June 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


but honestly... people are worried that someone is putting parenthesis around their names online? That's the best outrage you got?

'Outrage' is a buzzword often used when someone wants to feel superior to the rabble by diminishing their grievances as pointless bickering and silly crusades.

To use it as a way to denigrate the real fears of people who have been personally targeted for harassment by actual hatemongers is way up there on the Not Cool scale.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:45 AM on June 2, 2016 [15 favorites]


We're in a very weird time, and it's way too easy to get into an us vs. them mentality.

It's way too easy for Trump, too. In fact, he's made a killing off it!
posted by blucevalo at 12:19 PM on June 2, 2016


Perhaps we could all start putting all names within those nice brackets as a sign of respect and emphasis? (((Hilary Clinton))), (((Bernie Saunders))) and (((Donald Trump))) are all candidates for president of the US. We could call them cartouches.


(((Jane the Brown)))
posted by Jane the Brown at 12:44 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


No one's smacked the fascists on the nose, and hard, yet. There are cases where they've been actively encouraged. This is going to go to shit very, very fast.

Come and be a knock-off nazi,
Traitor to your grandad's army!
posted by Slackermagee at 12:49 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I read the article. And the death threats? That's harassment, and should be dealt with. As I said it should.

you seem ok with defending neo-Nazis

Don't do this, please. Don't equate what I'm saying with defending Nazis of any stripe. Just... don't.

Gamergate wasn't just some men being asses online. It was bomb threats and death threats and getting people fired and ruining people's credit and any other awful thing that someone could think to do remotely.

Right, GamerGate was BOTH. Being asses, and making threats. There is a fine line between those two things, there really, truly is. Being an ass is idiotic, but it's not criminal. Putting parenthesis around someone's name? That's on the "being an ass" side of the line. When they take action on that, then it's criminal.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 1:01 PM on June 2, 2016


hat's on the "being an ass" side of the line. When they take action on that, then it's criminal.

That's not actually how law works. If you make a threat online, the threat itself is a criminal act, whether you acted on it or not. If you direct or incite other people to do something illegal, it's illegal, as long as it passes the Brandenberg test:

(1) the advocacy is “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action,” and (2) the advocacy is also “likely to incite or produce such action.”

The parantheses not only does this, it's exclusively what it's intended to do.
posted by maxsparber at 1:05 PM on June 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


To spell it out more completely - (((Bullseye))) - it's a target emoticon. White Power leaders are ordering their followers through twitter to "target this user." Then hate-tweets by the thousands come pouring in, and some of the more black-hat inclined will get to work Doxxing and swatting and calling the victim's employers and family. And the victim will have no idea who set the machine in motion, because of the near invisible nature of the way they have been marked as a target.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:10 PM on June 2, 2016 [11 favorites]


#(((WEAREALLECHOES)))

?
posted by lalochezia at 1:10 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


To spell it out more completely - (((Bullseye))) - it's a target emoticon.

Oh my God, you're right. It's literally put a target on someone.
posted by maxsparber at 1:12 PM on June 2, 2016 [5 favorites]


You all need to read the link posted above about "coincidence detector". the Echo is a flagging mechanism and the Chrome plugin is the weaponization.

https://mic.com/articles/145105/coincidence-detector-the-google-extension-white-supremacists-use-to-track-jews?utm_source=policymicTWTR&utm_medium=main&utm_campaign=social#.umZ45yBtI

There's the link again.
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:39 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Fuck the nazis.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:41 PM on June 2, 2016 [4 favorites]


There's also a list of names that has been posted up to github that are all linked by Coincidence Detector. These people are targets. I don't feel right linking it here, it's in the Mic.com link I posted.
posted by Annika Cicada at 1:44 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Dammit. In my friends group these are used for giving each other good (((vibes))).
posted by vespabelle at 1:45 PM on June 2, 2016


vespabelle: I know, right? I'm used to that as well.
But used like described in the article... yeah, once you see it as a bullseye, you can't unsee it.
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:48 PM on June 2, 2016


One Jewish person in the media Tweeted just a few hours ago that he's probably been overlooked because he has an Irish last name.

He's the second person listed in the list Annika Cicada mentioned.
posted by maxsparber at 1:50 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


))<>((
posted by scruss at 1:51 PM on June 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


nazi punks FUCK OFF
posted by The Vice Admiral of the Narrow Seas at 2:38 PM on June 2, 2016 [6 favorites]


Don't do this, please. Don't equate what I'm saying with defending Nazis of any stripe. Just... don't.

I'm really confused by this statement. These are literal neo-Nazis - ones using images of Concentration Camps to support Trump and attack Jews. Defending them is by definition defending neo-Nazis. There are no dogwhistles in threat to "turn on the ovens" when it's targeted at Jews (or Roma, or LGBT people). Defending their actions is, by definition, defending neo-Nazis because they are neo-Nazis.

I get at a certain level that it would be more pleasant if we could treat this like an abstract question of free expression where we can agree to disagree. However, stripping it of the actual emotional content and threat meant by the neo-Nazis when they target people they assume are Jewish does nothing to help the people targeted and everything to help the neo-Nazis. Personally, I think when people use images from an attempted genocide they have already made it "us versus them". Given the stakes are at the "can't use this platform to say things" and not anything even approaching actual punishment or anything involving police, I'm a fan of a broad brush.

If in addition to losing twitter access the actual people making threats, harassing, sending violent and gorey images, making video games where you can beat up someone's actual picture, SWATing people, etc... actually faced criminal indictment that would be great, but right now there's a single person on trial in Canada for SWATing and by and large the rest of the criminal justice system is metaphorically shrugging it's shoulders and saying 'technology is hard', so I honestly don't see that happening any time soon.
posted by Deoridhe at 4:11 PM on June 2, 2016 [15 favorites]



There's a difference, though. Far right white nationalists who support Trump's anti-immigrant nativism and Islamophobia tend to have anti-Semitic views, but that doesn't mean Trump has any. Certainly none of his proposals have anything to do with anti-Semitism.


If Trump winkingly encourages the support of far right white nationalists, he co-owns their racism and antisemitism. It doesn't matter what his interior thoughts are. Cozying up to bigots makes him a bigot. Maybe crazy Uncle Donald just doesn't care where he gets his support from, is what we're supposed to think? But would he be so unbothered if the New Black Panther Party voiced their support? I don't think so.
posted by xigxag at 4:29 PM on June 2, 2016 [8 favorites]


what the fuck
posted by Jacqueline at 4:48 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


But would he be so unbothered if the New Black Panther Party voiced their support? I don't think so.

Trump is a shameless opportunist who will accept support from any comer, no matter how extreme or reprehensible they are. Trump has received support from Louis Farrakhan (if not the entire Nation of Islam organization), and he hasn't rejected that support. I'm just saying that it's somewhat inaccurate to liken the relationship between the Bush administration and its evangelical anti-gay marriage base, and the relationship between Trump and his supporters who are neo-Nazis, because he isn't advancing any policies to support the latter. He's cynically profiting from their hate speech by not rejecting their support, of course.

I'm just saying Trump is unlikely to be a crypto-neo-Nazi given that his own daughter and in-laws are Jewish. He has already advanced other hateful views that are bad enough, and his not rejecting support from the far right is also bad enough, without equating him to the neo-Nazis that support him.
posted by Apocryphon at 4:55 PM on June 2, 2016


I'm just saying Trump is unlikely to be a crypto-neo-Nazi given that his own daughter and in-laws are Jewish.

Hm. Maybe not a Nazi. He does appear to be an anti-Semite, however.
“you’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money,"

“Is there anyone in this room who doesn’t negotiate deals? Probably more than any room I’ve ever spoken.”
It's just sickening.
posted by howfar at 5:07 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Yeah, he does seem to be a (at the least) casual bigot towards every single race, color, and creed.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:12 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


> I'm just saying Trump is unlikely to be a crypto-neo-Nazi given that his own daughter and in-laws are Jewish.

His daughter's a woman too, does that mean he can't be sexist? In any event, my point is that it doesn't matter what Trump's crypto leanings are. His actual non-crypto behavior gives comfort and support to racists, sexists, and anti-Semites. If he is okay with a group of people being denigrated for his personal advantage, then he's a bigot against that group because he accepts the devaluation of them as human beings. The fact that he's allowing anti-Semitism to fester in his ranks while his own daughter's Jewish just makes it worse; he's utterly without shame and even having a Jewish family member won't jolt his conscience. We already knew that.

In the same vein, to continue about sexism, it doesn't matter whether or not he really in his heart believes the horrifically sexist things he's said, or whether they're just words he's cynically employing to rile up his base. He's okay with the humiliation of unsubmissive women qua women. That makes him a sexist. He's not absolved because he's also employed a ton of female executives.
posted by xigxag at 5:38 PM on June 2, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yeah, he does seem to be a (at the least) casual bigot towards every single race, color, and creed.

Um, except.
posted by xigxag at 5:40 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Don't do this, please. Don't equate what I'm saying with defending Nazis of any stripe. Just... don't.

Um, why not? Isn't that what you were doing? I don't bear you any great animus, or anything, but you're gonna need to explain how else we are supposed to read your comment.
posted by OmieWise at 6:06 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


Deoridhe: "I'm really confused by this statement. These are literal neo-Nazis "

For an analogy, imagine people arguing that the government should be torturing terrorists, and I say, "Woah, there. I don't think we should be torturing anybody," and they say, "Oh, so you're defending terrorists now, eh?" I'm not objecting to defend terrorists but to oppose torture, right?

So doubling down on "No really, these are literal honest-to-god Nazis," is not going to get anywhere. If there's anything to convince GhostintheMachine of, it's that nobody here is proposing any sort of "precrime and thought policing."


GhostintheMachine: "...except in this case it's a matter of someone poking their finger a centimeter from their computer screen while viewing your online profile and yelling "I'm not touching you!". Even a hundred idiots doing that isn't going to have any effect at all."

Except they aren't doing it in the privacy of their own homes, they're doing this online for an audience of their fellow neo-nazis. Imagine a Klan meeting where someone yells about how they should burn down the houses of the black people in town. Does this only retroactively become hate speech as soon as someone strikes a match?
posted by RobotHero at 6:07 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


That's just a horrible analogy. People are saying "let's stop this harassment," and Ghost is saying that that contributes to a bad mentality. Conveniently missing is what kind of atmosphere the new-Nazis are creating. The situation, and the comment, could hardly be less like your analogy.
posted by OmieWise at 6:14 PM on June 2, 2016


Ghost's claim has been that the (((_))) are not harassment, so should be treated as free speech.

My analogy was meant to distinguish between two types of rebuttals to that claim.

Rebuttals that argue that it *is* harassment actually address that claim. Here's a good one. Here's another. This is also what I was getting at with my second analogy, about the Klan rally.

Rebuttals that go, "but they're Nazis," don't address it.
posted by RobotHero at 7:04 PM on June 2, 2016


There apparently was a Google Chrome extension that tracks a pre-determined list of Jewish names and adds parentheses.

Amusingly enough, that JSON list is somehow open-source and, per an update half-an-hour ago, has only one name in it. This seemingly has the effect of parenthesizing "Trump", if you're wondering why it's amusing. However, the actual files with code appear to have been removed, so I can't be certain.

However, as recently as three hours ago, it disturbingly had 8770 names, along with text of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion in JSON format. This also has been removed now, and by the user-account that originally created the project. Again, why this existed in JSON format is difficult to tell without looking at the code, which seems to have been removed.

UPDATE: The extension also seems to have been just removed by the author.
posted by the cydonian at 7:10 PM on June 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


The extension was not the problem. It was an echo chamber, someone who already needed a nudge into being an Illinois Nazi would find it, sure, but mostly it was so the already converted could gloat. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it's gone, but at its worst, it only had 3000 or so users, many of them noping the fuck out once they realized what goes on here.

The real damage is on Twitter, and I must assume Facebook, where rabid followers of rabid hate-feeds get their marching orders from thought-leaders. See a name dropped with the "echo" (((echo means target))), unleash holy hell in nameless multitudes upon them. Get them to quit public life altogether with threats... and when the threats won't do it, guess what happens next?


I listened to an NPR piece where non-Zionist American jews were rejected as allies by BLM, because oh I dunno, reasons and stuff, mostly unexamined. The same Jews who used all of their political capital to make MLK one of the founding fathers, worthy of his own holiday.

Trump and the alt-right to the right. BLM in solidarity with Palestine against all Jews everywhere to the left. Where do they go now?

It must be pretty terrifying to be a jew in what were once "Safe" nations.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:08 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


Ah, making America (((grate))), again.
posted by Oyéah at 8:54 PM on June 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


For an analogy, imagine people arguing that the government should be torturing terrorists, and I say, "Woah, there. I don't think we should be torturing anybody," and they say, "Oh, so you're defending terrorists now, eh?" I'm not objecting to defend terrorists but to oppose torture, right?

Objecting to someone engaging in torture is really different from arguing that Twitter shouldn't be expected to enforce it's TOS stand against targeted harassment, though.

I keep seeing people amping up the consequences here so lets be clear - all that's being asked is that the use of ((())) to target Jewish people for harassment is recognized as such.

Secondarily, some people are saying that and people who do so repeatedly shouldn't be able to use various forms of social media. There is no law being suggested and using social media isn't a right people can actually defend with the first amendment. The TOS of most forms of social media already say the service shouldn't be used for harassment, even if that TOS isn't enforced, so people using ((())) to target other people for harassment are already in violation.
posted by Deoridhe at 11:28 PM on June 2, 2016 [3 favorites]


OK, probably a lost cause but I'll try to explain the distinction I see.

So nazis are putting parenthesis around the names of people they think are Jewish, in order to identify them for others to target for harassment. What part of that do you want to stop?

If you want to stop them from putting parenthesis around names, then the nazis will find another way to identify their targets. A ^ or /*\ or $ or || or whatever. If you somehow block or ban people using the code, then you'll catch a lot of collateral users who have no idea it's racist code. You're not helping anyone, and you're annoying innocent people.

If, like me, you want to stop nazis from harassing people, then you find a way to stop the harassment. Plenty of people have looked at the GamerGate idiocy and come up with ideas to reduce or halt harassment; let's see some of those implemented.

It's not defending nazis to say the parenthesis thing isn't the problem, any more than saying you like coconut milk and nazis like coconut milk means you're just like a nazi. Let's deal with the actual harassment, and stop fixating on the distraction that's not actually causing the harm.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:09 AM on June 3, 2016


What part of that do you want to stop?

You are making these comments as though activity graphs and patterns of interaction aren't trivially visible and indefinitely logged on the server side, and as though Twitter can only look at text and not see causal relations. None of that is the case.

Somewhere inside Twitter there is a screen where you can watch this stuff happening, as it happens, and if there's not it's because they've elected not to look. What people are asking for is that the people who've got a basically perfect, topdown view of the process of mob harassment to take responsibility for what's happening on a service they own and control outright.

This isn't complicated, but Twitter Support keeps responding to harassment complaints with things like "oh those tweets you reported yesterday got deleted so we can't do anything", which is _very obviously_ a bunch of disingenuous bullshit, but that's the line they're peddling anyway.
posted by mhoye at 8:25 AM on June 3, 2016 [4 favorites]


If you want to stop them from putting parenthesis around names, then the nazis will find another way to identify their targets. A ^ or /*\ or $ or || or whatever. If you somehow block or ban people using the code, then you'll catch a lot of collateral users who have no idea it's racist code. You're not helping anyone, and you're annoying innocent people.

Heaven forbid like ten people get annoyed in order to stop terrible fucking harassment!

I agree with you that direct harassment is, duh, worse than directing people to harass someone else. We all do. But directing people to harass someone else is how mob harassment happens. If Twitter somehow stepped in and stopped people from using the (((harassment target parens))), and the Neo-Nazis had to poke at their pudding heads for another symbol, then great! Twitter will have stopped some harassment, and white supremacists have to do some more work.

This a lot like spam filters, except with higher stakes. Let's say you keep getting emails with the subject line "v14gr4". If you or Google come up with filters that block those emails, eventually, the spam generators will come up with something else. Is it still worth blocking? Of course. Very few would argue that you don't know these emails are spam until you actually open each email and think about what they have to say.
posted by ignignokt at 8:33 AM on June 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


You don't need to do much to actively stop it. Making it searchable makes it exposable to the raging sunlight these fucking nazi troglodytes fear.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 9:52 AM on June 3, 2016 [4 favorites]




Joseph Gurl, I'm not sure that that article's argument ("lack of accountability means some high-profile users have left Twitter) stands up. But even if it does, I am so, so tired of people trying to argue that antisemites and their enablers should realise that they're harming their own interests. That argument is at least as old as the Enlightenment, and it has never been effective. Even if it were effective, though, I don't think it's one that should be made. The pragmatic argument against antisemitism places the well-being of the victimisers front and center, and erases their victims' interests.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:14 AM on June 4, 2016


Huh. So I follow a feminist activist on Twitter who is Jewish but has a not-obviously-Jewish name, and she's changed her handle on Twitter to (((Firstname Lastname))). I wonder if that's going to be a thing. That was my initial impulse, too. You want to know who the Jews are, assholes? Put me on your list, because I'm proud to be Jewish, and I'm not intimidated by you.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:24 AM on June 4, 2016 [5 favorites]




That's a fair point, Joe in Australia, and one I hadn't considered. That said, the notion that Twitter is stuck between fucked-up-shit+tons-of-users and less-fucked-up+plummeting-share-value was new to me. (I'm not a tweeter or twitter watcher).
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:40 PM on June 4, 2016


I listened to an NPR piece where non-Zionist American jews were rejected as allies by BLM, because oh I dunno, reasons and stuff, mostly unexamined. The same Jews who used all of their political capital to make MLK one of the founding fathers, worthy of his own holiday.

Trump and the alt-right to the right. BLM in solidarity with Palestine against all Jews everywhere to the left. Where do they go now?

It must be pretty terrifying to be a jew in what were once "Safe" nations.


Par for the course, historically.
posted by zarq at 10:17 AM on June 6, 2016


I think the long-standing friction and difficulties between African American and Jewish communities/populations in America, especially among activists, is not something you can quickly or easily quantify by asking who is better off and who owes what to whom.
posted by griphus at 1:16 PM on June 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Moral debts are a funny thing; people increase in stature when they acknowledge them and diminish themselves by repudiating them.

The problem with the hijacking of BLM by the Palestinian crowd is the same as the hijacking of gay rights, or women's rights, or the environment, or whatever. The hijackers don't care about the movement itself; they just want to ride it into the ground. As they do. In this case it's especially repulsive, not because a debt is owed but because Jews and Blacks are under attack by the same people (literally the same people); and it is those racists who benefit when short-sighted opportunists decide to use a movement for their own ends. That's not a failure to acknowledge a debt; it's a failure of solidarity.

Cf: James Baldwin's essay Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White. It's an angry essay, and it's not always coherent, but it was essentially true in 1967 and it's essentially true today.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:05 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Cf: James Baldwin's essay Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White. It's an angry essay, and it's not always coherent, but it was essentially true in 1967 and it's essentially true today.

Holy shit I have never read this before and it is incredible.
posted by griphus at 4:50 PM on June 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


When zarq boosted the signal, I was really bothered.

For whatever it's worth, I intended to only address the last line of what I quoted: "It must be pretty terrifying to be a jew in what were once "Safe" nations." I wasn't trying to add to any meta commentary about African American and Jewish relations. I am familiar with our collective histories but if I was going to address it would have done so with more complexity and depth than a single line reply. I was thinking more in terms of various articles I've read about Jews worried about the clear rise in antisemitism in places like Paris, and Israel's attempt to offer safe harbor to those who want refuge -- as well as Jews' centuries-long history of believing we were living in a safe place, only to find it wasn't. Jewish history is often very depressing.

In hindsight, looking at where the thread has gone since my comment, I should only have quoted that line and not the rest of Slap*Happy's comment. Mea culpa.
posted by zarq at 5:13 PM on June 6, 2016


[Several comments deleted. It will go a lot better if we don't import additional incredibly difficult topics (Israel/Palestine as it pertains to left politics in the US; black/white relations in the US; generational differences between the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s with BLM today) into this thread which is on a different topic. Allllso it will go better if we can avoid calling each other names. If you're feeling really heated about this please take a step back to cool off.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:16 PM on June 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Cf: James Baldwin's essay Negroes Are Anti-Semitic Because They're Anti-White. It's an angry essay, and it's not always coherent, but it was essentially true in 1967 and it's essentially true today.

Man, I haven't read this for years but it still takes my breath away. Thanks for linking to it here, Joe.
posted by zarq at 5:18 PM on June 6, 2016


Ugh: Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic writes A Brief Introduction to Pro-Holocaust Twitter
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:52 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


Goldberg kind of touches on it in that article, but one of the scarier things about the alt-right is the appearance of amateurishness. It makes me feel like a lot of people, particularly those that aren't Jewish, are writing off these guys as essentially harmless. But even apart from the normalization of anti-Semitism (and other forms of bigotry), it feels like a way to lull people into a false sense of security. "Oh, they're just eggs on Twitter!" Yeah, sure, until they strap on AR-15s and head on down to the local synagogue and play the "I'm not touching you game" that is obviously meant to deny people their 1st Amendment rights. First they came for the Muslims...
posted by zombieflanders at 5:59 AM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


I never underestimate the amount of damage an amateur can do. Sure, the alt right might be incompetent boobs, but the web is starting to feel like it was designed to weaponize incompetent boobetry.
posted by maxsparber at 10:23 AM on June 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


The thing the alt-right most demonstrates their incompetence at is fact-checking. Which, for the purpose of rounding up an angry mob, isn't going to slow them down. All it means is their rationalization for what they were so angry about doesn't pan out. At best, the angry mob disperses after having already harassed the target for a while. Quite likely, they'll just scrounge up a replacement rumour/conspiracy theory and keep going. The only possible harm to them is their reputation, which when this does include literal neo-Nazis, how much do they care?
posted by RobotHero at 3:19 PM on June 9, 2016


Ha'aretz, as is its way, tries to find the real problem. Hint: people getting death threats aren't part of it:
Are Online Jews Playing Into the Hands of anti-Semitic Trolls?
I fear that the disparaging sentiments being expressed online by Trump's supporters may turn into a success story if the Jews they target pay them too much attention.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:53 PM on June 9, 2016


Welp. NYT deputy editor Jon Weisman is leaving Twitter:
I will leave @twitter to the racists, the anti-Semites, the Bernie Bros who attacked women reporters yesterday. Maybe Twitter will rethink

6:36 AM - 8 Jun 2016
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:00 PM on June 9, 2016 [1 favorite]


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