Hordes of online Neo-Nazis thought they were being pretty clever.
They developed a coded insignia that could secretly mark out Jewish public figures and writers. Mic discovered this week that a Google Chrome app allowed fellow Nazis, trolls, and self-identified Donald Trump supporters to search blogs and social media and help them target the Jewish people who had been identified.
Typing the (((echoes))) symbol around a name acts like a corrupted anti-Semitic trigger warning and flags its targets as Jewish or “anti-white” to other bigoted users. Since most sites strip parentheses and other punctuation from search results, it is extremely difficult to find specific instances on social media, making it challenging to trace patterns of abuse.
When The Daily Beast examined the Chrome app, it also emerged that a list of named Jewish actors, directors, and media figures were being targeted.
It’s a bit ironic, considering that such a large portion of Trump’s support comes from the same hate groups who put this list together. Then again, it’s not like their garbage worldview makes any sense anyway.
Most of the users of the simple Chrome extension called Coincidence Detector, which was built by enterprising Neo-Nazis, probably have no idea how the app works. It’s available in the Chrome store, and is designed to “help you detect total coincidences about who has been involved in certain political movements and media empires.” Aren’t Neo-Nazis subtle?
If you’re following along at home, Chrome saves extensions in the Library folder (on Mac, usually ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Extensions) under the app’s ID, which generally looks like the product of someone repeatedly smashing their head against their keyboard or the name of a volcano in Iceland. In the case of Coincidence Detector: hldnghbakgkgeocjllocmpobpppkfepo.
The folder contained… nothing special. There was a ReadMe file featuring only “# ((( Coincidence Detector )))”; an icon PNG and loading GIF; and HTML for the extension’s pop-up menu. Chrome extensions are pretty boring.
But there were a few details worth mentioning. Based on the myscript.js file, the author apparently ripped the extension’s function from this Stack Overflow post. The extension also changes any instance of “Israel” to “Our Greatest Ally.”
A link to its source URL, a GitLab list compiled with the help of the anti-Semitic The Right Stuff (TRS) Forum, features 8,772 organizations and people, including Kushner, to echo-ify. Most of those on the list are Jewish. What a coincidence!
Update, 6/3/2016: The app has apparently been pulled from the Chrome store.