back to top

Trolls Are Trying To Trick People Into Thinking This Purple Bird Facebook Sticker Is A Secret Nazi Symbol

This is really, really dumb and confusing.

Posted on

You've probably seen "Trash Dove" on your Facebook feed. It's a cheeky and playful purple pigeon sticker pack that has completely dominated social media in the last few weeks.

In Thailand, Trash Dove took off just a few days after the sticker pack was issued by Facebook. On Feb. 7, Facebook page Animals With Paws uploaded a short animated video of a cartoon cat dancing.

Facebook: video.php

The video has been viewed over 4 million times. And the comments underneath the video are a literal sea of Trash Doves.

Advertisement

Trash Dove has infected Facebook like a virus as people use the lovable bird to clog up the feeds of prominent Facebook pages. Check out the comment section on this New York Times article.

There's even a competition — run by a prominent Trash Dove Memes page — offering prizes to anyone who can show they've posted so many Trash Doves that they've been blocked from posting stickers.

Facebook: TrashDoveMemes

"I woke up Thursday morning and saw I was being tagged in a lot of videos and news articles on Facebook — most originated in Thailand," Trash Dove creator and Adobe creative resident Syd Weiler told BuzzFeed News.

Advertisement

Basically, Trash Dove is everywhere right now. But in the last few days, something very strange has happened to this adorable — albeit insanely annoying — little Facebook sticker.

Over the weekend, this post appeared on Medium. Its author, Quincy Frey, claims Trash Dove is ACTUALLY a right-wing symbol that fascists and neo-Nazis are using to signal each other.

medium.com

Frey has no previous work on his Medium page, and his post, "Right Wing Dove Squad", mentions "the hacker known as 4Chan" getting "his" hands on Trash Dove and then teaming up with the alt-right to turn it into a hate symbol. Another article claiming the same thing appeared a day later on a site called Age of Shitlords, titled "Trash dove is a racist Neo-Nazi meme. Don’t use it".

The rumors that Trash Dove is a racist symbol are actually part of a 4chan campaign called "Operation Nazi Bird". It started on the /pol/ messageboard, which has become the epicenter of far-right extremist activity on the internet since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

Advertisement

It does appear that the radicalization of the bird is at least partly a ploy to get Facebook to ban the annoying meme and free social media from Trash Dove's reign of terror.

4chan

"If we can get groups to associate more and more innocent and innocuous cartoon images with 'hate', they will swiftly lose all credibility," wrote one user on 4Chan.

Advertisement

And it should be noted that, even if Operation Nazi Bird was a satirical campaign...

Nov 2016: Pepe memes are declared a hate symbol. Feb 2017: Trash can dove sticker declared a symbol of white suprem… https://t.co/HEnwNs1Gck

So, saying Trash Dove is a Nazi symbol isn't exactly untrue, because at the end of the day, Facebook pages are filling up with swastikas because of it.

Facebook: tumblrinaa

To sum everything up, Trash Dove was a popular Facebook sticker, it went viral in Thailand, then it got really annoying and spammy, then far-right trolls on 4chan decided to try to trick people into thinking it was being used by neo-Nazis, but their plan was basically to photoshop Trash Dove into racist images, so in a sense it basically is now being used by racists.

Here we go. Media making the cute lol trash dove a racist symbol. Get offended ppl.

Brad Esposito is a news reporter for BuzzFeed and is based in Sydney, Australia.

Contact Brad Esposito at bradley.esposito@buzzfeed.com.

Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

Promoted