According to internal Facebook documents, certain images of Pepe the Frog are to be banned.
Facebook isn’t really in the business of banning fictional characters but a particular frog made an exception.
Pepe the Frog is a cartoon illustration of a frog by Matt Furie for a comic called Boy’s Club. In the last couple of years however, it has become the mascot of the alt-right for intolerance. This led to the cartoon being labeled as a hate symbol by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
Now it is making news again Motherboard as obtained a training document where Pepe was highlighted. Entitled Dangerous Organizations, the section highlights the anamorphic frog as something to look out for.
“Pepe the Frog has been endorsed by many hate groups to convey hateful messages.”
Normally, the social media giant allows users to post cartoons or video game characters in the context of hate. An example of this in its training manual is an image of Homer with a swastika. Apparently, this sort of image can be ignored if flagged by a user.
But Pepe is to be treated differently. According to the document, moderators should delete the image when “he is shown in the context of hate.”
ADL’s chief executive Jonathan A Greenblatt explained why they made him as a hate symbol. “They are abusing the image of a cartoon character, one that might at first seem appealing, to harass and spread hatred on social media.”
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