Dogwhistles are a rhetorical device that is used somewhat like watermarking. The purpose of a dogwhistle is to hide another meaning within a seemingly harmless statement that informs other people aware of the dogwhistle who made this, and for what purpose. The term comes from the fact that dogs can hear higher pitches than humans, which lead to the creation of seemingly silent whistles that humans cannot hear (much like the uninformed) but dogs are perfectly aware of.
Dogwhistles are used by the alt-right to say to other alt-righters to inform them that a piece of rhetoric or an article or what have you is made by their side and needs spreading, not criticizing or attacking.
Noted dogwhistles include:
- (((Echoes))): these are just weird use of brackets to most people, but the alt-right use them to denote jewish people and make antisemitic accusations of an individual being involved in some kind of sinister plot or conspiracy.
- Fren: this is a term that seems harmless that white supremacists use to refer to each other (and is an acronym meaning Far Right Ethno Nationalist). It originated in the subreddit known as r/frenworld which was a whole system of dogwhistles to bury white supremacist speech under seemingly childish babble.