With just hours before the election, online supporters of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump are frantically posting about Pepe the Frog, the controversial online meme designated as a hate symbol by the Anti Defamation League.
“One more day,” one Trump supporters who goes by Vendetta Vidame, wrote on Twitter, posting a meme of Pepe overlaid on a painting of Paul Revere. “We need every single Pepe back up on Twitter. Make it green again!”
Other supporters followed suit, on both Twitter and other social media.
The final day.#RainOfFrogs unleashes it’s final formpic.twitter.com/OawhI4wO19— Baked Alaska 3X™ (@bakedalaska) November 7, 2016
Not all uses of Pepe are bigoted, the ADL noted in September, but a prominent subset of Pepe memes — some of them resurfacing hours before the election — are “centered on racist, anti-Semitic or other bigoted themes.”
Some posted pictures of Pepe as Trump attacking his opponent Hillary Clinton.
Others reposted explicitly anti-Jewish and violent memes, the type of images that prompted the ADL to label the meme as a frequently hateful image.
Sam Kestenbaum is a contributing editor and former staff writer for the Forward. Before this, he worked for The New York Times and newsrooms in Sana, Ramallah and Beijing. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum and on Instagram at @skestenbaum.