The Anti-Defamation League added Pepe the Frog, a popular internet meme, to its online database of hate symbols on Tuesday.
According to TIME, Pepe was originally a character in the comic series Boy's Club beginning in 2005.
Since then, internet users have used Pepe's image in a variety of amusing contexts, often captioned with the phrase, "Feels good man," or, "Feels bad man." Users eventually began creating original images, called "rare Pepes," to keep the frog's comedic value from depreciating.
The ADL says that since the meme proliferated in online venues such as 4chan, 8chan, and Reddit, a subset of rare Pepes began promoting anti-Jewish, bigoted, and offensive ideas. The images have since gone viral on Twitter, Facebook, and other social media sites.
“Once again, racists and haters have taken a popular Internet meme and twisted it for their own purposes of spreading bigotry and harassing users,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt in a press release. “These anti-Semites have no shame. They are abusing the image of a cartoon character, one that might at first seem appealing, to harass and spread hatred on social media.”
The (((echo))) symbol was also added to ADL's database in June after members of the Alt-Right began using triple parenthesis to single out and harass Jewish journalists and other users on social media.