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How Memes Were Weaponized For Trump-Era Politics

Internet memes have come a long way since the Hamster Dance ― but over the past few years, they’ve taken on a more volatile, violent and racist tone, part of a propaganda war that morphed Pepe the Frog into a Trump-supporting Nazi.

This is, in part, a reflection of Trump-era politics, according to a number of communications experts, professors and extremism reporters who spoke to HuffPost for the video above.

As President Donald Trump campaigned for his election in 2016, he embraced and often promoted a series of increasingly violent memes aimed at his two greatest opponents, Hillary Clinton and the media.

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“The memes that people were sharing in 2016, a lot of them followed the barbed tone that Trump was setting,” said Ryan Milner, an associate professor at the College of Charleston who has studied memes for more than a decade.

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