4chan’s disinformation campaign has scored another victory, after multiple DC Fire/EMS recruits flashed the “OK” hand sign in a photo, prompting an investigation due to advocacy groups who mistakenly believe the gesture is a symbol of white supremacy.
The internal investigation was sparked after several members of the fire academy class, who took the photo in March of 2019, playing the “circle game,” by flashing the “OK” hand sign.
The hand gesture was first deliberately demonized in February 2017, as part of a massive trolling effort by 4chan users (known as “Operation O-K-K-K”_ to trick media outlets and advocacy groups to believe the gesture symbolized “WP” or “White Power.”
Fortunately for 4chan, the media and groups such as the Anti-Defamation League took the bait, exposing gullibility and reactionist behavior within the ranks. The ADL would later claim that, due to the meme’s popularity, the symbol has become legitimate amongst white supremacists.
Unfortunately for everyone else, the generations-old “circle game” and tradition of posing with the hand gesture in photos became grounds for investigations.
According to the Daily Mail, Recruit Class 387 has been the subject of such an investigation, after the agency announced that “The department has immediately initiated an internal review of the photograph, which may include interviews with everyone pictured in the photograph.”
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