Valve removed the images following a DMCA takedown notice from creator Matt Furie.
Pepe the Frog first appeared in 2005 in Matt Furie’s comic Boy’s Club, but courtesy of the efforts of 4chan and other sites is better known, in the online world at least, as a meme. It’s taken on an uglier connotation in more recent years, however, as a sort of mascot of the alt-right, which led Furie to take a more aggressive approach to protecting his IP rights. That effort, as Motherboard reported in September, resulted in legal notices being served to Richard Spencer, Baked Alaska, Mike Cernovich, Reddit, and Amazon.
Now Furie has turned his attention to Steam. The subreddit noticed yesterday that a number of Pepe emoticons had gone missing from the Steam community market. The entries, such as this one for :CunningPepe:, are still present and purchaseable, but the image boxes are blank, and the description now states, “Emoticon art currently unavailable due to DMCA takedown notice submitted on behalf of Matt Furie.”
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