A few days ago, an odd online tactic of neo nazis was exposed – placing the names of Jews in parentheses to identify them as Jewish and assist in the process of targeting and trolling them.
As Yair Rosenberg from Tablet explained:
Spend any time around prominent opinionated Jews on the Internet, particularly on platforms like Reddit or Twitter, and you’re likely to encounter an odd anti-Semitic practice. White supremacists associated with the alt-right, many of them avid supporters of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, like to highlight Jewish users for targeting with parentheses: (((Rosenberg))), for example.
As Mic reported, the Internet’s neo-Nazis even have their very own Chrome browser extension that automatically places these parentheses around Jewish names on web pages. But on social media, they typically add the symbols themselves to troll Jews and alert fellow bigots to a potential target
But what the neo nazis did not count on was having the tables turned on them.
With a name like “Yair Rosenberg,” I might as well be called Jewy McJewface on Twitter. As a result, I’ve been on the receiving end of this sort of treatment for years, long before Donald Trump entered the political fray. Likewise, The Atlantic‘s Jeffrey Goldberg, being a Very Prominent Jew With Opinions on the Internet, has been a lightning rod for such abuse. So last night, he decided to preempt the neo-Nazis and put parentheses around his own Twitter username. It seemed like a good idea to me, so I tweeted this:
Then I went to bed. It turned out a lot of people—not just Jews—liked the idea. Some anonymous accounts even outed themselves as Jews to show solidarity. Muslims, Christians, and Hindus changed their names to show their support. As of now, hundreds of accounts have appropriated the Nazi symbols as their own.
It’s worth noting that the internet’s anti-Semites hate when their culture is appropriated by their opponents.
Yeah, some “culture.”
Besides giving me a bit more faith in humanity, this story also got me thinking about the idea of identifying Jews. The neo Nazis and other antisemites pride themselves on their “Jewdar”, basing their judgment on a plethora of Jewish stereotypes. So I thought I would create a quiz to see how well people really can tell who is Jewish and who isn’t.
How well did you go? Place your score in the comments.