This was a bullshit campaign by trolls from 4chan, and they got exactly what they wanted.
One of the biggest stories doing the rounds on social media is that paedophiles are trying to join the queer community. Let’s just start with the basics: this is bullshit. It is a lie fabricated for the alt-right and by trying to argue against paedophiles joining the community you’re doing exactly what 4chan trolls wanted by linking paedophilia to queerness.
This is not a legitimate movement. This isn’t even the first time that right wing trolls have tried to do it. It’s a tactic that’s been kicking around for a while but is only now starting to draw mass attention and regular retweets and reblogs.
The point of the campaign is simple: to get queer people associated with paedophiles in any way possible. It doesn’t matter if we’re arguing against them. It’s enough to plant the seed so that other people begin to think of abusers when they think of queerness. It’s enough to distress queer people and feel their communities are under attack. And they knew we’d RT the shit out of any campaign trying to link abusers with us, and that’s exactly what they wanted. Our respectability politics are so entrenched that we automatically go “no, this isn’t us” instead of looking at why people are trying to spread malicious lies.
We need to look at fake news and call it out. We need to say this bullshit and not even allow the premise to exist. But we didn’t. We got dragged into a fake pantomime fight for the alt-right’s (Nazi’s) pleasure. They managed to smear us and we were all too happy to play along with their tactics. Our reaction was what they wanted.
Stop saying that paedophiles aren’t queer. We all fucking know that. They aren’t going to join the community. Stop putting paedophiles in the same sentence as queerness. Focus on alt-right tactics and call that shit out. Go on the offensive. That’s what we need from queer activism right now. They know how to play our mild mannered defensive tactics and they’re winning. How many people retweeted this fake campaign in outrage without even checking if it was true? Too many. How many even looked to see whether the accounts tweeting about it were fake, sockpuppets and/or bots? Too many.
“Focus on alt-right tactics and call that shit out”
The far right trolls are setting the discourse for this entire community. They know where the divisions lie: in queer acceptance among queer people. They see the fighting with trans people, ace and aro people, bi and pan people and they know they can weaken us even further by trying to play the idea that everyone wants to claim a queer identity. It’s a bullshit tactic that has much wider consequences than this one campaign. It’s about creating deeper tensions within an already divided community, all while increasing hatred and suspicion from allocishet people. Stop falling for fake news. When we spread it, we are complicit. This blew up from forums because we allowed it without actually saying that it was fake news. Even Attitude reported on it. We have to learn from this and do better.
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