Alt-right trolls are spreading the myth that gay people support paedophiles

The dangerous myth linking gay people with paedophilia is experiencing a resurgence, thanks to alt-right trolls.

The falsehood has a long and hateful history, but just in the past year or so, it has been repeated by a Labour Party councillor who branded Pride marchers “paedophiles,” Spanish ultra-conservatives and a Danish imam.

And last week, a sign with the message “Paedophiles are people too. Because Love Is Love” set against a rainbow background was posted around Willamette Primary School in Oregon.

It was part of a rising trend of trolls pretending to be queer activists who want to promote paedophilia as part of the LGBT community.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - AUGUST 12:  White nationalists, neo-Nazis, the KKK and members of the "alt-right" attack each other as a counter protester (R) intervenes during the melee outside Emancipation Park during the Unite the Right rally August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia. After clashes with anti-fascist protesters and police the rally was declared an unlawful gathering and people were forced out of Lee Park, where a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is slated to be removed.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Alt-right supporters have been behind the resurgence of the dangerous myth (Chip Somodevilla/Getty)

Cameron Whitten, executive director of a local LGBT community group called the Q Centre, told KATU: “It’s just very clear that this message was meant to stigmatise and stereotype LGBTQ people.

“At a time when we are facing homophobia [and] transphobia, it is not helpful for these kinds of harmful messages to be disseminated out.”

The lie was spread further by alt-right figurehead and former Hollywood star James Woods, who tweeted: “And so it begins…” above a picture of the poster, as reported by BuzzFeed News.

Woods, who hit the headlines last year when he tweeted that a gender-creative child would end up killing his parents, attracted more than 36,000 retweets and likes with the post.

And it’s not the first time.

In October, at a protest against alt-right darling Mike Cernovich being allowed to speak at Columbia University, a sign was passed out which was branded with a pro-paedophilia message and a rainbow logo reading “NAMBLA” – that is, the mostly defunct North American Man/Boy Love Association.

Though the banner was quickly ditched after people realised what it said, the photo has since been repeatedly used to spread the baseless lie that LGBT people and paedophiles are part of the same community.

Joseph Uscinski, who teaches political science at the University of Miami, told BuzzFeed News: “Paedophilia makes people angry, and anger is an emotion that drives action.

BEVERLY HILLS, CA - FEBRUARY 19:  Actor James Woods attends the 2017 Writers Guild Awards L.A. Ceremony at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 19, 2017 in Beverly Hills, California.  (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for WGAw)

James Woods spread the falsehood last week (Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty)

“That action could include either sharing the story on social media or going out and chasing the paedophiles with weapons. Or something in between.”

Uscinski added that starting harmful rumours about people is even worse when they belong to a minority which is often discriminated against, like the LGBT community.

A horrific poster spread by alt-right trolls on 4chan (snopes)

“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.”