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The green frog emoji was the most-used emoji during Super Bowl 51, according to social analytics company Blend.

What does it mean? The emoji symbolizes Pepe the Frog, a popular internet cartoon that became a symbol of the Alt-right conservative movement in early 2016. Pepe used to be a mascot for 4chan.com, an image-posting website, used mostly for memes, linked to Internet subcultures like Anonymous and the Alt-right movement. In 2016, the Anti-Defamation League added Pepe the green frog to its database of hate symbols, alongside the swastika and the KKK blood cross.

Why it matters: The Alt-right social movement has been using the momentum of highly-publicized national events to further their message, but the effectiveness has peaked since Trump's inauguration. According to Blend President Matt Geiger, this is an ongoing trend with no sign of slowing down. "We've seen the Pepe frog emoji show up in basically every single national event since Trump was Inaugurated," Geiger told Axios. "The frog has been used more than all of the other animal emojis combined since Trump's Inauguration."

Worth mentioning: Blend also found that the rainbow emoji, a symbol for gay rights and activism, was the most used emoji during the Super Bowl 51 halftime performance. Lady Gaga sang "Born this Way" at halftime, a song about being accepted regardless of your sexuality or gender.

Go deeper

7 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.