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Racist Social Media Users Have A New Code To Avoid Censorship

New code words hide slurs from social platforms, and many tweets using them express support for Donald Trump.

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Updated on

Racist online communities have developed a new code for racial, homophobic, and bigoted slurs in an attempt avoid censorship.

The code, which uses terms like "Google," "Skittle," and "Yahoo" as substitutes for offensive words describing black people, Muslims, and Mexicans, appears to be in use by various accounts on Twitter and elsewhere.


Many tweets using the code are doing so in support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump:

USA Today not wanting people to vote trump is as shocking as a Skypes loving shekels

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Trump is not a National Socialist. If he was, he wouldn't have kids that married skypes. Also he wouldn't be an ul… https://t.co/CLwDJQYjbR

Trump just doxed the Fed. You skypes about to get audited in 6 months. This is your notice. #debatenight #debates

Damn #Googles #Yahoos & #Skittles! #MAGA #MAWA #AltRight #Trump #Duke4Senate https://t.co/qyCoA6y8sy

Well, the easiest way to do that is to physically remove googles, skypes, and tacos. https://t.co/VwFopyr3yQ

The code appears to have originated in response to Google's Jigsaw program, a new AI-powered approach to combating harassment and abuse online. The program seems to have inspired members of the online message board 4chan to start "Operation Google," using "Google" as a derogatory term for a black person in an attempt to get Google to filter out its own name. The code developed from there.

It appears that a number of 4chan posts in which this effort was discussed were deleted. A search of a 4chan archive, 4plebs, cross-referenced with Google search, showed the discussion developing underneath a link to a post about Google Jigsaw:

Some referenced Microsoft's AI-powered chatbot, Tay, as an example of how AI can be manipulated by racists.

And a "Skype" for "Jew" substitution emerged too:

This isn't the first time a bigoted social media code has emerged. Placing a name in triple parenthesis is meant to identify Jews and target them for harassment.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Google and Twitter for comment.

Alex Kantrowitz is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco. He reports on social and communications.

Contact Alex Kantrowitz at alex.kantrowitz@buzzfeed.com.

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