Fans of the pro-Trump conspiracy theory are clogging anti-trafficking hotlines, infiltrating Facebook groups and raising false fears about child exploitation.
Recently, an acquaintance posted a photo on her Instagram story showing a map of the United States, filled with bright red dots.
“This is not a map of Covid,” the caption read. “It is a map of human trafficking.”
Under the photo was a hashtag: #SaveTheChildren.
A few days later, I saw the same hashtag trending on Twitter. This time, it was being posted by followers of QAnon, the sprawling pro-Trump conspiracy theory. These people were also disturbed about human trafficking, but with a dark twist: Many of them believed that President Trump was on the verge of exposing “Pizzagate” or “Pedogate,” their terms for a global conspiracy involving a ring of Satan-worshiping, child-molesting criminals led by prominent Democrats.
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Facebook and Instagram ban antisemitic conspiracy theories and blackface
Conspiracy theories about Jewish people “controlling the world” are to be explicitly banned from Facebook and Instagram for the first time, after the company announced an update to its content policies on Tuesday.
The ban on “certain kinds of implicit hate speech” would also include content depicting blackface, Facebook’s vice-president of integrity, Guy Rosen, said.