ALTERNATE NAMES: Parentheses, Parenthesis
Multiple parentheses—or the "echo," as it is sometimes referred to—is a typographical practice used by some antisemites online. It typically consists of three pairs of parentheses or brackets used around someone's name or around a term or phrase.
When used around someone's name—such as (((Natalie Weiss)))—it is intended by the user to indicate to others "in the know" that the person being referred to is Jewish.
When used around a term or phrase—such as (((banker)))—the intent is generally that the word "Jewish" be placed in front of the term or phrase, or simply that the term or phrase is actually synonymous with Jews.
Journalists Cooper Fleishman and Anthony Smith traced the origins of this antisemitic typographical symbol to a 2014 podcast that used an audio echo as a sound effect when someone on the podcast mentioned a Jewish name. Other antisemites translated the audio echo into a typographical symbol used primarily on social media sites such as Twitter.
The use of the echo was relatively uncommon, but in the spring of 2016, some antisemites began using the echo when responding to or re-tweeting Jewish journalists, or journalists thought to be Jewish, which brought more attention to the practice.
The publicity generated by news coverage of the symbol resulted in a much larger counter-use of the echo, as thousands of anti-hate activists and others began changing their Twitter screen names to echo themselves in an "I am Spartacus" fashion. Others used inverted parentheses—such as )))Jane Doe(((—for the same purpose.
Following this, some antisemites began using inverted parentheses themselves, on their own screen names, to indicate that they were not Jewish or were anti-Jewish. This use of the inverted parentheses has become more common.