'OK' hand gesture has been added to a list of hate signals

David Harding
Contributor
A far-right demonstrator makes the OK hand gesture in Portland, Oregon in August (JOHN RUDOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

This is not OK.

The finger-and-thumb hand sign traditionally used to signify “OK” has been added to a list of hate symbols.

The gesture has joined the list as it is used by some as a "sincere expression of white supremacy", according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a US anti-hate group, in a new report.

Despite that the ADL maintains that the "overwhelming usage" of the hand gesture is still to show approval of something or someone.

Therefore, it said that "particular care must be taken not to jump to conclusions about the intent behind someone who has used the gesture".

A member of the far-right group "Proud Boys" (JOHN RUDOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

The OK symbol has been added to the ADL’s "Hate on Display" list, which the group began back in 2000.

The ADL says the aim of the list is to help people recognise signs of extremism.

It has placed more than 200 symbols or gestures on the list - 36 of which were new this year.

As well as the OK sign are far more recognisable symbols associated with racism, such as the swastika and the Ku Klux Klan's burning cross.

"Even as extremists continue to use symbols that may be years or decades old, they regularly create new symbols, memes and slogans to express their hateful sentiments," said ADL boss Jonathan Greenblatt.

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The ADL says the OK symbol has become a "popular trolling tactic" from far right activists.

Bizarrely using the “OK” symbol as a racist sign started out as a joke, but then became used so much

Flowers and tributes displayed in memory of the twin mosque massacre victims in New Zealand earlier this year. The man arrested for the shootings made the ok gesture in court (SANKA VIDANAGAMA/AFP/Getty Images)

But the joke was so successful and widespread among the far-right, that many believe the OK sign is changing meaning.

The man accused of killing 51 people at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, earlier this year used the OK sign when in a subsequent court hearing.

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