Have you traversed the vast wasteland of Twitter and seen this symbol: (((…)))?
It’s called an “echo” and there’s apparently a purpose behind it.
The practice of using the echo, or triple parenthesis, is believed to have originated in an anti-Semitic podcast in 2014 as a way to identify and harass people perceived to be Jewish. On Twitter, an individual would add the echo around a name or organization, then other users would know to target them. In recent weeks, it has been used against some journalists who wrote stories critical of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump and his family.
Anybody really paying attention is caught up by now with the term “cuck,” vulgar in its intent, and used against those who oppose Trump and his great call to cleanse America of undesirables. The echo is just a further extension of that, because there is never a shortage of internet Nazis.
Some Twitter users, however, have begun to use the triple parentheses around their own names, as an act of defiance against those who would target Jews or non-Trumpidians.
On Monday, the Anti-Defamation League added the “echo” to its hate symbols database — which includes the swastika.
“The echo symbol is the online equivalent of tagging a building with anti-Semitic graffiti or taunting someone verbally,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League. “We at ADL take this manifestation of online hate seriously.”
I have, in the past, scoffed at the need for protections against online bullies, for the simple fact that you can block harassers or just log off of the internet. Problem solved. This, however, may require a watchful eye. We’ve seen the behavior of Trump’s cult during his rallies, and any calls to raise up an authoritarian state in our nation need to be taken seriously.