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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 February 15, 2017, at 7:45 a.m. ET

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.

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

Trash Dove made its way to Tumblr, where it was pounced on by the bird-loving community, who proceeded to make dozens of memes. There's, uh, even porn of it, too, if you're curious.

"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.

"The first thing I saw was people in a country on the other side of the world dancing like my drawings," Weiler said, "and my picture on news sites in a foreign language."

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.

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.

Users created a lengthy walkthrough of what they want to do with Trash Dove. Step one is spamming media pages with it.


Trolls are instructed to post the bird on pages like CNN or the New York Times so journalists and activists notice it.


Then users are supposed to start photoshopping Trash Dove into swastikas and fascist iconography and spreading those images as a second wave.


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.


"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.

Making things even more confusing, though, is that spreading hoaxes about Trash Dove being a Nazi symbol has actually made at least some people start posting the bird earnestly as a Nazi symbol.

And Operation Nazi Bird appears to be working really well.


Because now no one is really sure how earnest anyone is being about how fascist a symbol Trash Dove is.


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… still means people are posting swastikas all over social media.

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.

2017 sucks.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.