U.S. Far-fight Trolls Claiming That LGBT Activists Want to Accept Pedophilia as a Valid Sexual Identity
WASHINGTON — August 6, 2018
The latest push of this false narrative came from actor and prominent conservative James Woods, who is known Twitter user spreading fake information.
On Tuesday, he tweeted a photo of a rainbow poster that had the text “Pedophiles are people too” on it.
The tweet received nearly 14,000 retweets and even more likes, prompting concern and outrage.
Then it spread online and many Facebook users started to make up conspiracy theories regarding the image. The LGBT/pedophilia conspiracy theory is not just being spread online. The poster was stapled onto a telephone pole near a school in Portland, Oregon. Local news outlet KATU confirmed it was real and reported that the neighbors tore it down, but who put it up and why remains a mystery.
In addition, last year, someone handed a crowd of people protesting conservative media commentator Mike Cernovich a pro-pedophilia sign. Although protesters quickly got rid of the banner, which was emblazoned with the logo for the largely defunct North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), it still became the basis of a misinformation campaign.
Another poster defining the term “pedosexual" was created by online trolls. It was the brainchild of an anonymous online forum that even coordinated hashtags to smear the LGBT community.
“This op, as you can probably deduce, will introduce fracture points in the LGBT movement by adding a “P” for pedophilia to their title,” one post said in January 2017. “Push pedo acceptance particularly on the LGBT bandwagon via twitter sockpuppets etc. Offline, letters to editors and/or news orgs as an ‘oppressed person due to my sexual preferences.’ Imagine if your 5pm news ran a story on this?”
Subsequently, the “LGBTP” poster began appearing on Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr, and continues to circulate online.
While the poster’s or sign's origins may be unclear, what is evident is that these pedophilia accusations have been spreading more and more as of late.
The misinformation seems aimed at supporting conservatives and casting liberals in an unflattering light.
“Pedophilia makes people angry, and anger is an emotion that drives action,” Joseph Uscinski, a political science professor at the University of Miami who studies conspiracy theories, said. “That action could include either sharing the story on social media or going out and chasing the pedophiles with weapons. Or something in between.”
Uscinski added accusing opponents of hurting children has a long history and has led to many innocent people’s lives being ruined, so it becomes particularly problematic when vulnerable communities are targeted.
“We want to be very careful, because the conspiracy theory points out innocent and unprotected people as villains,” he said. “That's when you can run into danger. If you have a conspiracy theory about immigrants or refugees or racial minorities or LGBTQ people or just regular people who don't have the benefit of secret service protection, these are people who are vulnerable to attack and sometimes conspiracy theorists will want to fight fire with fire.”
Prominent conspiracy websites like Infowars and poorly moderated social media also helps these hoaxes spread.
On the one hand, people regularly try to humiliate LGBT activists, attempting to silence them and shame them speaking openly about their gender preferences and advocating for their political rights. On the other hand, far-right trolls and internet conspiracy theories have always and always will exist. Society can attempt to ignore such negative forces, But bf we were talking about the "democracy" in the U.S., then perhaps the State should do something to take care of its citizens, and help fight the spread of disinformation.