Popularly known as the ‘sad frog meme’, Pepe The Frog has become a cultural milestone of the internet – but not for positive reasons. You don’t have to search far online to find images of the green frog with his bulging eyes and wide grin. He was never meant to be a political figure, but over time he’s morphed into an emblem of hateful meme culture and the darkest reaches of the internet. By extension, the use of Pepe imagery has seeped deep into Twitch culture. The frog is unavoidable, but now Twitch streamers are taking a stance and banning Pepe emotes on their channel. (…) As the “sad frog”, Pepe represents the most anxious and isolated corners of the internet  – loners who found a home on 4chan. Over time, the site became a hotbed for the alt-right and, in the 2016 US election, Trump supporters as images of Trump and Pepe soon surfaced. Not only was the meme recognised by Hilary Clinton in her campaign, it was shared on Instagram by Donald Trump Jr.  Racist and bigoted memes of Pepe The Frog became so pervasive that leading anti-hate organisation the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) list the meme on their website, alongside hateful symbols like the swastika, the Confederate flag and the Ku Klux Klan’s burning cross. 
Pepe in gaming culture. With this less than stellar history, it’s inevitable that Pepe The Frog memes would crop up in gaming culture. Blizzard has banned Pepe emotes from the Overwatch League, with a spokesperson telling Dot Esports “The Overwatch League discourages the use of symbols and imagery which are associated with or used by hate groups, including Pepe The Frog.” Both fans and competitors are asked to comply.  Valve has also banned the emote from their Steam platform after a DMCA takedown notice from Furie. The artist has tried to remove or reclaim his character, but Pepe is entrenched so deeply into internet subcultures that it seems an impossible feat. On Twitch, Pepe lives on as an emote. And just like the memes before, there are countless variations. Emotes are popular on Twitch as a key form of interaction. As the text chat is the only way for viewers to respond to a stream, emotes are widely used as shorthand for reactions that bring their own in-jokes and subcultures. Twitch partners are able to upload their own emotes for use by subscribers, further representing their stream brand. Twitch then takes a cut of that subscription fee.

via pinknews: Twitch streamers declare war on Pepe The Frog in bid to kick white supremacy off the platform