Pepe the frog, a cartoon character created by artist Matt Furie, has had a significant impact on internet culture and society over the past decade. What began as a harmless meme has since become a symbol of hate for some and a beloved cultural icon for others. In this article, we’ll explore the history of Pepe and his impact on the internet.
The History of Pepe
Pepe was first introduced as a character in Matt Furie’s comic “Boy’s Club” in 2005. The character quickly gained popularity on websites like 4chan and Reddit, where users began creating and sharing memes featuring Pepe in a variety of contexts.
Over time, Pepe’s meaning began to shift depending on the context in which he was used. While many of the early Pepe memes were harmless and humorous, some users began to use the character to promote extremist views.
In 2016, Pepe became associated with the alt-right movement in the United States, and was adopted by white supremacists and other hate groups. As a result, many people began to view Pepe as a symbol of hate and bigotry.
The Impact of Pepe on Internet Culture
Despite his controversial associations, Pepe has had a profound impact on internet culture. The meme has been used in countless different contexts, from political commentary to popular culture references.
One of the most significant impacts of Pepe on internet culture has been his ability to bring people together around a shared joke or cultural reference. The meme has become a shorthand for a certain type of humor and has allowed people to connect over shared interests and experiences.
However, the use of Pepe as a symbol of hate has also had a negative impact on internet culture. The spread of extremist views through memes and other online content has contributed to the polarization of society and the rise of hate groups.
The Impact of Pepe on Society
Pepe’s impact on society extends beyond the internet. The character has been used in political campaigns, merchandise, and even as a symbol of protest.
For example, during the 2016 US presidential election, Pepe became a symbol of support for Donald Trump among some of his supporters. However, the use of Pepe in this context also contributed to the character’s association with the alt-right and white supremacist movements.
More recently, Pepe has been used as a symbol of protest in countries like Hong Kong, where pro-democracy activists have used the meme to express their dissent against the Chinese government.
In conclusion, Pepe has had a significant impact on internet culture and society. While the meme has brought people together around a shared joke, it has also been used as a symbol of hate by extremist groups.
As with any cultural phenomenon, it is important to understand the full context of Pepe’s history and impact. By doing so, we can better understand the role that internet memes and symbols play in shaping our culture and society.