On November 10th, two days after the election of Donald Trump, a Reddit user posted an image to a subreddit for supporters of Marine Le Pen, the far-right leader running for president of France. “I understand you require memes,” the user, globalism_sux, wrote. “I bring you Pepe Le Pen. Rare, from across the pond.” The image attached to the post portrayed Pepe the frog as Le Pen — with long blond hair and a dark blouse — against a tri-color, French flag backdrop. In a comment on the post, the Reddit user called on others to “spread it far and wide.” As French magazine Les Inrocks reported last month, Pepe Le Pen has since spread across social media and forums like Reddit and 4chan, marking yet another permutation of what began as a harmless internet meme. During last year’s US presidential election, Pepe the frog became a mascot for the alt-right: the pro-Trump online movement that has been linked to white nationalism and anti-Semitism. Now, with their own presidential election on the horizon, far-right groups in France are embracing and adapting the meme to galvanize online support for Le Pen. “I don’t think they all know the background or the… Read full this story
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