According to a May 30, 2019 FBI intelligence bulletin, QAnon is a growing threat driven by “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists.” NBC News says this “sprawling and baseless” conspiracy theory involves President Donald Trump secretly doing battle with Satanic child abusers in Hollywood, the media and government.

NBC also reports that in towns across the U.S., rallies to Save Our Children are being organized by QAnon sympathizers. At these events, marchers rarely mention QAnon, but 70% of the Facebook traffic associated with Save Our Children is from QAnon-related groups. As NBC notes, such events create a “palatable entry point” for QAnon messaging to take hold.

In late August, a march to “end human trafficking” occurred in Astoria. It was one of many Save Our Children events across the country promoted by Global Peace March, a group that features photos of people holding signs saying things like “Dead Pedophiles Can’t Reoffend #SaveOurChildren.”

Human trafficking is a real problem, and there are many legitimate organizations that have been working for years to stop it. But sociologists warn that in uncertain times, people are especially vulnerable to conspiracy theories.

The QAnon conspiracy theory is especially dangerous because it discredits media and government. Because they don’t trust the FBI or credible news sources, QAnon adherents won’t believe the Reuters report that organizations backed by the Russians are amplifying QAnon messaging.

Before participating in Save Our Children and end human trafficking events, or sharing such messaging on social media, I urge you to get the facts.

KERRY GRASEE

Gearhart

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