White Supremacists Are Using a Google Chrome Plugin to Target Jews

June 3rd 2016

Lucy Tiven

On Sunday, New York Times deputy Washington editor Jonathan Weisman detailed the onslaught of anti-Semitic hate speech and Nazi imagery — including a meme of the gates of Auschwitz reading “Machen Amerika Great" — he received on Twitter after his name appeared flagged with brackets in a tweet.

Weisman wrote:

"The first tweet arrived as cryptic code, a signal to the army of the 'alt-right' that I barely knew existed: 'Hello ((Weisman)).' @CyberTrump was responding to my recent tweet of an essay by Robert Kagan on the emergence of fascism in the United States.

"'Care to explain?' I answered, intuiting that my last name in brackets denoted my Jewish faith.

"'What, ho, the vaunted Ashkenazi intelligence, hahaha!' CyberTrump came back. 'It’s a dog whistle, fool. Belling the cat for my fellow goyim.' With the cat belled, the horde was unleashed."

On Wednesday, Mic did an in-depth report on the series of parentheses (three) — an "echo" symbol. In a second piece, published on Thursday, Mic found that there was a Google Chrome extension that marked the names of Jewish people and others deemed "anti-Whites." White supremacists and Neo-Nazis were reportedly using this plugin, which was removed from the Google Chrome web store on Thursday evening.

The plugin, "Coincidence Detector," reportedly used a user-generated list to mark Jewish names with three parentheses. The list was regularly updated, and allowed users to add names not yet marked with the "echo."

It looks (((like this))).

Users reportedly consulted the plugin to single out journalists and harass them on Twitter.

Because parentheses aren't searchable on Twitter, users can post "the echo" without their tweets being easily detected.

Hours before it was removed from Google Chrome, the plugin's description claimed that it was "inaccurately reported" on by Mic. The description explained:

"Coincidence Detector can help you detect total coincidences about who has been involved in certain political movements and media empires.

"There is nothing discriminatory about recognizing the great social, scientific, and political accomplishments of the Chosen People."

The anti-Semitic harassment was not limited to Weisman.

Mic editorial directors Cooper Fleishman and Anthony Smith asserted that a number of Mic staffers received tweets containing "the echo" after Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos tweeted a Mic story explaining why women who hated Donald Trump had sex dreams about him.

On Thursday, writer Joe Veix tweeted a list of names allegedly flagged by the plugin. Other individuals and organizations found their names on it, and tweeted about the discoveries.

A brief history of the "((( )))" symbol.

The symbol is known as the "echoes," and was coined by the right-wing blog the Right Stuff's podcast the "Daily Shoah," which mocked Jewish names with an echo sound effect, according to Mic.

The Right Stuff's lexicon page — essentially, an abridged urban dictionary of alt-right slang terms that includes numerous racial slurs — explains that "Echoes" symbolize the historical damage inflicted by Jewish people:

"All Jewish surnames echo throughout history. The echoes repeat the sad tale as they communicate the emotional lessons of our great white sins, imploring us to Never Forget the 6 GoRillion."

The phrase "6 GoRillion" is a term white supremacist groups use to joke about the Holocaust.

Another Jewish reporter, Julia Ioffe, who profiled Melania Trump for GQ, was similarly targeted online and via phone with anti-Semitic comments.

“The irony of this is that today, when I was getting all of this horrible anti-Semitic shit that I’ve only ever seen in Russia, I was reminded that 26 years ago today my family came to the US from Russia. We left Russia because we were fleeing anti-Semitism,” Ioffe told the Guardian. “It’s been a rude shock for everyone.”

Update 6/3 11:34 PST: This post was updated with comments from the editors of the Right Stuff.

“The echoes represent the ripples in reality caused by jewry [sic],” the Right Stuff editors explained to ATTN: in an email.

They also responded to the removal of the “Coincidence Detector” from the Chrome store:

"Luckily, the outage is only temporary. Our echo-scraper script is still up and running, collecting names and information and reporting to our central repository. Jewish journalists and other internet users have also taken to put their own names in ((())) as a sort of protest, and this of course only amplifies our scraping capability.

"The extension has been physically removed from the Chrome store, but that of course won't prevent its use for the savvy user. Its original code, written by NeoReactionary Tech Guru Curtis Yarvin exists as part of his URBIT operating system, and thus can't be shut down. The tracking of online jewish activity is one of The Right Stuff's standard directives and we will not relent. We have 100, 120 guys working to have it up and running from a new secure location ASAP. I've seen reaction from the Alt Right twittersphere that this extension was a mere toy, for entertainment purposes only. While it would be in our interest to embrace such a narrative, I'd have a tough time living with myself even tacitly supporting such a lie."

Update 6/3 3:45 PST: ATTN: was contacted by Curtis Yarvin, to whom TRS gave credit for coding the “Coincidence Detector.” Yarvin, who confirmed his identity over email, denied his involvement in “Coincidence Detector.”

Urbit tweeted:

ATTN: has reached out to The Right Stuff for further comment. 

[h/t Mic]