Pepe the frog is the latest target in big tech’s war on conservative Internet culture.
According to fans, gaming platforms Blizzard and Valve have banned the use of the cartoon frog on their services.
DANGEROUS reached out to both platforms but neither responded to request for comment. Fans longing for their Pepes are still demanding an explanation.
The icon of Pepe the Frog became a sensation during the 2016 general election. After Clinton’s ‘basket of deplorables’ comment about Trump voters, the frog meme seemed to really take off as a symbol and rallying cry for young conservatives and members of the new right.
The mirth of Pepe’s use annoyed people on the left to no end, which naturally only drove the cartoon’s popularity further.
The Anti-defamation League has declared Pepe a “hate symbol” due to its use at times by the alt-right. However, the celebrated symbol of trolling has been mostly used by average young right wingers and libertarians as a way to express mocking the left and a love for Trumpism.
Gamers on the Blizzard and Valve platforms can no longer use Pepe as an avatar or for custom pieces inside the game. Players of wildly popular games, such as Overwatch, saw themselves stripped of their beloved Pepes. According to Dot Esports, Blizzard is against having any political statements on their platforms, and has the final say so in what gets the ax.
“The Overwatch League discourages the use of symbols and imagery which are associated with or used by hate groups, including Pepe the Frog,” said an Overwatch League spokesperson. “At Blizzard Arena, it’s our policy that fans comply with this policy. We likewise ask the same ofOverwatch League teams and players on their social-media accounts.”
In the case of Valve, it seems the Steam Marketplace received a legal order to remove the frog. The developers of a game called Make America Great Again: The Trump Presidency wrote “If we sign a thing that says [Furie] can sue us and not them Valve will put it back up,” they stated. “At the moment we’re not going to sign that because going to court is… bad even if we’re right.”
You know, you’ve fucked up once you start banning Pepe memes/popular memes in general… Maybe a company name change would be in order; Blizzard – – > Snowflake. https://t.co/ImvaBNs05B
Valve may have removed my ENTIRE Pepe collection, both backgrounds and emoticons, but at least I still have this:
@YourOverwatchYT Careful, Blizzard is anti-pepe ?
Cartoonist Matt Furie created the Pepe frog and was intended as the “Feels Good Man” meme.