The Southern Poverty Law Center is tracking the hashtags #Christmas, #MerryChristmas, #Jesus, and #ChristmasEve, as part of “trends in a community of far-right Twitter users.”
According to the SPLC, its “hate tracker” tracks accounts that represent a “range of extremists,” from “conspiratorial fringes of mainstream conservatism to outright white supremacists.”
The hate tracker notes that #Christmas is the second highest trending hashtag it tracked on Christmas Eve, with @whitehouse and @potus being among the four top Twitter handles mentioned with the hashtag.
For #MerryChristmas, the U.S. Marine Corps’ band at @marineband was one of the top mentioned, according to the hate tracker on Christmas Eve. One of the SPLC’s “top image” associated with #MerryChristmas is a photoshopped picture of marines hoisting a Christmas tree, instead of a flag, as depicted in the famous Iwo Jima picture.
The SPLC includes disclaimers, however, such as that the accounts “are not necessarily part of the far-right population of accounts we monitor.” It also claims these “extremists” also participate in many “conversations and topics that are popular among more ‘mainstream’ communities.”