Social justice warriors are conducting all-out keyboard warfare thanks to the Russian Embassy’s decision to tweet a picture of Pepe the Frog, the lighthearted Internet meme favored by Trump fans that became co-opted as a symbol of white nationalism by a group of trolls.
The goofy picture of a cartoon frog was sent out to the roughly 43,000 followers of the Russian Embassy, UK Twitter account on Monday morning, accompanying a message that reads: “In today’s papers: pundits call on @Theresa_May to disrupt possible Russia-US thaw. No trust in Britain’s best friend and ally?”
Sure enough, a bevy of social justice warriors and leftist journalists alike descended on the post, feathers fully ruffled. “Hi there, reporter here. Are you aware of that image’s popularity among white nationalists?” wrote Talia Jane, a journalist with Mic.com.
As it turns out, Jane’s employer was the same publication that derailed a fundraiser for the American Military Partners Association, a prominent support group for LGBT veterans, when it discovered that it was going to take place at a pro-Trump art show, Breitbart reported.
Twitter users rallied around Pepe’s cause in response to the uproar, pointing out to confused reporters that Pepe the Frog is simply a meme meant to be taken in jest.
In September of last year, Hillary Clinton’s campaign put out a widely-mocked “explainer” that sought to connect Pepe to white supremacism, a move that seemed to have lodged the connection into her supporters’ beliefs even though such links have been soundly discredited.