It would have been charitable to think that The Atlantic’s appalling recent piece likening the rosary, the popular Catholic devotional, to an AR-15 rifle and painting a dark picture of armed, rosary-praying Catholics ready to unleash papal mayhem on the peaceful citizenry was the product of a writer with no ideas and a looming deadline. As it turns out, however, the author of the piece, Daniel Panneton, wasn’t just throwing something at the wall and hoping it would stick long enough for him to collect a paycheck. On the contrary, he does this sort of thing for a living.
Mia Cathell over at Townhall revealed Tuesday that when he isn’t cowering in fear over praying Catholics, Panneton is Manager of the Online Hate Research & Education Project, which is, notes Cathell, “an 18-month venture funded by a generous $340,000 grant from the Canadian government’s Anti-Racism Action Program.” When you’ve got that kind of government funding, you’ve got to come up with the goods. Can’t find enough actual hate? Well, any old thing will do. Even rosaries.
Panneton’s OHREP “explores how memes and other digital practices are being used to spread hatred in Canadian contexts, and will use original research to produce Hatepedia, which will contain Canada’s Hate Meme Database and Hate Symbol List, along with lesson plans and educational resources designed to help educators mediate between hateful content and conduct, and their student’s online experiences.” Hatepedia bills itself as “an online database and resource centre built with original research to provide educators, parents, lawmakers, and researchers with tools to identify and counter the proliferation of online hate.”
The Hatepedia database is slick and professional looking, showing how well funded it is. It’s also skillfully constructed to lead people to think that questioning the globalist, socialist political elites constitutes “hate.” The “Explicit Hate Symbols” section contains indisputably abhorrent symbols such as the emblems of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party and the Waffen SS, along with Holocaust-denying memes and the like. But in the “Meme Characters with Hateful Uses” section, we get a collection of Internet ephemera that has been used in myriad contexts, but with Panneton and co. darkly warn us “are sometimes used to spread hatred online, and often have origins in hateful spaces.”
These include Gigachad, “a meme character” that “often personifies a extreme [sic] perception of traditional masculinity. For example, within incel communities Gigachad can be used to represent genetic superiority and desirability. White supremacists sometimes use Gigachad as an avatar for themselves, their movement, or white men more generally.” An image of The Joker from the 2019 movie starring Joaquin Phoenix was “used as a hateful meme character was when it was coopted by Gamers Rise Up, a movement that started as a satirization of Gamergate that relied on using alt-right tropes and aesthetics, and which openly spread hate speech.”
There is more. Read the rest here.