Farewell, Pepe - The Frog Emoticons Have Officially Been Removed From Steam, Here's Why

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When Pepe first invaded our lives and our hearts back in the 2005 comic by Matt Furie, the odd looking frog quickly took the Internet by storm and became the go-team meme. Whether you were feeling joyous, sad, or just feeling like getting your troll on - Pepe was there. Only now, he's not. Thanks to a really weird and disturbing turn from the uglier side of the Internet, he somehow morphed into an icon for the alt-right extremist groups - a group that's uglier connotations nurtured by racists perceptions and outward exclamations. Because of this, the frog's creator has become even more vigilant about protecting his IP - the result? Less Pepe ... less Pepe ...

Furie sent legal notices to many companies, including Reddit, Amazon, and more. One such company, the popular PC gaming client Steam, has also been hit with the notice prompting the removal of the emoticon from their libraries. Reddit quickly noticed that many of the popular Pepe representations were suddenly missing, though not all are completely lost yet. But according to a recently added description, we know why:

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"Emoticon art currently unavailable due to a DMCA takedown notice submitted on behalf of Matt Furie."

A well established IP lawyer told Kotaku about the efforts to protect Furie's intellectual property once it was made known that it was essentially being used by a harmful troll group. This is what they had to say:

"A Steam user let us know that there were Pepe images being sold on the site, and that they were being used on that site by people in connection with hateful speech," Tompros said. "We asked Steam to take those down, and it appears that it has done that."

Pepe was also removed from other medias, including the Make America Great Again: The Trump Presidency game. Many Twitch users continue to use the then-lovable frog, it will be interesting to see what other steps Matt Furie goes to take to protect his work against message that was not a part of the intent of creation.