Trigger Warning: this post contains hateful materials
In April, The Global Project Against Hate and Extremism (GPAHE) uncovered a series of hashtags driving users to neo-Nazi content on Tiktok. The most popular hashtag was #aryanclassic, which collected over 20 million views as of April 2023, along with #whatsappborea, a reference to esoteric Nazism, #a10, meant to signify one’s “aryan genetics,” #saveeurope, #14, and #88. These hashtags are associated with memes advocating the Great Replacement conspiracy theory, racism, glorification of the Holocaust, and extreme anti-LGBTQ+ content. Upon investigating this disturbing trend, GPAHE reported our findings to TikTok.
A few weeks later, GPAHE found that numerous accounts and videos spreading the harmful trend were taken down. The content removed included some horrifying material praising Nazism and its genocidal ideas. Users such as “basedaryan88,” 88 being alphanumeric code for “HH,” or “Heil Hitler,” posted Nazi content featuring the esoteric Nazi symbol known as the Black Sun.
Similarly, “agarthaalien1234,” whose account is still live, had posts removed including the Totenkopf, a rune swastika, and one that superimposed the Black Sun around controversial internet influencer Pewdiepie’s face. “Sunwsteel” had posts praising the Holocaust and comments seemingly celebrating genocide including, “6 jewillion.” “Deutsch_soldat2” had some of the most overt examples of pro-Hitler propaganda, including posts including pictures of him captioned “I tried.” The user would either put text or color over Hitler’s face, seemingly to avoid moderation.
When users were not outright supporting Hitler and genocide, they were using the hashtag to either spread racism or find ways to dogwhistle fellow neo-Nazis online. “Lightningandthesun” had a video taken down that parroted the popular, and inaccurate, racist talking point that falsely claims Black people commit a disproportionate amount of crime. Comments on the video included vile racism such as “when socioeconomic factors force me to rape a woman and kill an innocent family.” “Unsupervizedschizoid420,” who went by the moniker Aryan Gosling, was the user GPAHE traced back to creating the first #whatsappborea post in March. That account, which also posted edited versions of the WhatsApp logo to resemble a swastika, no longer exists.
Unfortunately, this trend has spread beyond TikTok. Since GPAHE’s original article uncovering the hashtag, an entire subreddit dedicated to it was created on May 6, 2023, and, according to Brand24, dozens of videos featuring the hashtag have been posted on YouTube between April 15 and June 15, 2023. This material too should come down.