What do the red triangles mean on Twitter?

If something characterizes Twitter is its accelerated pace. Every minute almost half a million tweets, so it is common that every time you look at the screen, you have missed something. No matter how many years you have been on the 280 character network, you will always have the feeling of having been disconnected for a long time. A Tweet controversial, a viral photo or today’s new meme that everyone replicates and that you still have not come to understand make up the day to day on Twitter.

In that busy universe that is Twitter, sometimes some details can go unnoticed due to the chaotic nature of the network. A very common one is the use of emojis that many personalities start to use and spread quickly among users.

The red triangle emoji. What does it mean on Twitter?

In mid-2019, many users began to use a peculiar inverted red triangle emoji. The first to show them on their profiles were Spanish politicians from left-wing parties and their use gradually spread.

But what does it mean? The inverted red triangle is a way of expressing a rejection of fascism. To this day, its use has been standardized and we can see it in the form of a pin on the jackets of many left-wing European political leaders, not only on Twitter.

The dark past of the inverted red triangle

However, the red triangle is not just an emoji. It’s a flipped symbol. Its origin dates back to the time of Nazism.

Just as Jews were marked by the Nazis with a yellow Star of David, it is not so well known that political prisoners of that time in Germany also received a marking. It was made with a red triangle on the concentration camps where they were kept prisoner. At first, it was only the communists who received the triangle, but little by little they opened the spectrum and added any doctrine that was contrary to the Nazi Party, that is to say, anarchists, union leaders, coup leaders and freemasons.

When all barbarism ended and World War II ended, the triangle became a symbol. He remembers all the prisoners who lost their lives solely for having different ideals from the regime in which they lived. To this day, its connotation goes a little further and expresses the opposition to the fascist currents. Therefore, it does not mean that a person is on the left (or not on the right) because they have the emoji on their profile. Just show your rejection of that way of thinking.

Are there other similar cases?

Another similar phenomenon on Twitter is the use of a snake emoji. It again has political symbolism and refers to the defense of economic liberalism. Specifically, the emoji symbolizes the viper that the colonists carried as their flag during the American War of Independence. It was accompanied by the slogan “Don’t tread on me”, which translates to “don’t tread on me.”

Already in the real world, the word that begins with ‘n’ with which the descendants of African Americans in the United States refer to each other has a very similar origin. The word was used disparagingly by slavers in the cotton fields to refer to their oppressed. Again, the meaning was turned around to endow the symbol with strength.

Are these symbols used correctly on Twitter?

Now you know the origin of the famous red triangle that one day went viral on Twitter and many people were left without understanding. Nevertheless, not all the users use the symbol correctly. It is easy to see the triangle upside down (out of ignorance or rejection) and users who use it without really knowing the meaning (both the triangle and the snake).

In any case, it is always interesting know the meaning and origin of this type of viral phenomena before placing some type of symbol in our profile.

The entry What do the red triangles mean on Twitter? was first published in The Output.

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