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Bowl Haircut, 'OK' Hand Gesture Labeled Hate Symbols

Anti-Defamation League adds them to database
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 26, 2019 12:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – The "OK" hand gesture, a mass killer's bowl-style haircut, and an anthropomorphic moon wearing sunglasses are among 36 new entries in a Jewish civil rights group's online database of hate symbols used by white supremacists and other far-right extremists, per the AP. The Anti-Defamation League has added the symbols to its online "Hate on Display" database. Some of the new entries started as trolling campaigns or hateful memes on internet message boards such as 4chan, 8chan, and Reddit, before migrating to Facebook, Twitter, and other mainstream platforms. The ADL has updated its database to include the "OK" hand symbol, which became fodder for a 4chan trolling campaign to dupe viewers into thinking the fingers formed the letters "W'' and "P'' to mean "white power."

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But the ADL says extremists also are using it as a sincere expression of white supremacy. Brenton Tarrant, the Australian man charged with killing 51 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March, flashed the "OK" symbol during a courtroom appearance after his arrest. The ADL also added the "Dylann Roof Bowlcut," an image of the hairstyle worn by the white supremacist who shot and killed nine black people in 2015 at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. Another addition, the "Moon Man" meme, is derived from "Mac Tonight," a character in a McDonald's advertising campaign during the 1980s. Internet trolls transformed the sunglasses-wearing cartoon moon into a vehicle for rap songs with racist and violent lyrics.

(Read more Anti-Defamation League stories.)

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