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  • Neo-Nazis, anti-Semites and white nationalists have begun using three sets of parentheses encasing a Jewish surname — for instance, (((Fleishman))) — to identify and target Jews for harassment on blogs and major social media sites like Twitter. As one white supremacist tweeted, "It's closed captioning for the Jew-blind."


    The origins of the symbol ((())) can be traced to a hardcore, right-wing podcast called The Daily Shoah in 2014. It's known as an "echo" in the anti-Semitic corners of the alt-right — a new, young, amorphous conservative movement that comprises trolls fluent in internet culture, free speech activists warring against political correctness and earnest white nationalists. Some use the symbol to mock Jews; others seek to expose supposed Jewish collusion in controlling media or politics. All use it to put a target on their heads.

    To the public, the symbol is not easily searchable on most sites and social networks; search engines strip punctuation from results. This means that trolls committed to uncovering, labeling and harassing Jewish users can do so in relative obscurity: No one can search those threats to find who's sending them.

    The symbol comes from right-wing blog the Right Stuff, whose podcast The Daily Shoah featured a segment called "Merchant Minute" that gave Jewish names a cartoonish "echo" sound effect when uttered. The "parenthesis meme," as Right Stuff editors call it, is a visual pun.
    --tech.mic

    September 18, 2016