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Home POLITICS The most dominant toxic narratives of the midterm elections

The most dominant toxic narratives of the midterm elections

A month after Florida passed legislation banning classroom discussion or instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity, which Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law in March, the volume of tweets falsely linking gay people and transgender with pedophilia skyrocketed, for example.

Language claiming that gay and transgender people were “grooming” children for abuse increased 406 percent on Twitter in April, according to a to study by the Human Rights Campaign and the Center to Counter Digital Hate.

The narrative was spread more widely by 10 far-right figures, including mid-term candidates as representatives. lauren bobert of Colorado and Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, according to the report. His tweets about “preparation” disinformation were viewed approximately 48 million times, according to the report.

In May, Mrs. Boebert tweeted: “A North Carolina preschool is using LGBT flag cards with a pregnant man to teach children the colors. We went from Reading Rainbow to Randy Rainbow in a few decades, but don’t you dare say the Left is grooming our kids!” The tweet was shared nearly 2,000 times and liked nearly 10,000 times.

Ms. Boebert and Ms. Taylor Greene did not respond to requests for comment.

On Facebook and Instagram, 59 ads also promoted the narrative that the LGBTQ+ community and its allies were “grooming” children, the report found. Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, accepted up to $24,987 for the ads, which were shown to users more than 2.1 million times, according to the report.

Meta said it had removed several of the ads mentioned in the report.

“Repeated pressure from ‘groomer’ narratives has resulted in a broader anti-LGBT moral panic that has been influencing state and federal legislation and is likely to be a major issue mid-term,” said David Thiel, technical director of Stanford Internet. Observatory, which studies extremism and disinformation online.


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