Posing as gay men on Twitter, a troll went viral with attempts to falsely tie the LGBTQ community to pedophilia reports NBC News.
The report says that various efforts to tie the LGBTQ community to pedophilia have been linked back to fringe internet message board 4chan.
Around Christmas day, Karl Krause and Daan Colijn who have the travel blog ‘Couple of Men‘ started receiving emails from their fans, telling them their pictures were being used to promote pedophilia in several viral posts on Twitter.
Out Now! Happy New Year 2019 again everyone! It is the beginning of January that means time to start planning the new travel year with our TOP 5 GAY EVENTS in 2019 you should not miss! #gaytravel #coupleofmen @ILoveLGBTTravel 👬✨🏳️🌈❤️
— Couple of Men (@coupleofmen) January 3, 2019
“They were outraged emails,” Krause said. “They were saying, ‘How can that be? You are not pro-pedophilia. I know that.’”
Krause and Colijn are gay travel bloggers who tell their followers of gay-friendly and LGBTQ-owned businesses and communities throughout the world. They had no idea their faces were being used to promote an idea they found abhorrent.
One of their pictures, which features Krause and Colijn kissing in front of a rainbow flag, had been stolen by a Twitter troll who went by the name “Alex,” an account that was created in December. The account then tweeted messages promoting pedophilia.
The account successfully spread across Twitter the deliberately defamatory idea that pedophilia is an acceptable part of LGBTQ life. Over the last half-decade, that concept has become a staple of far-right internet trolls on websites like the fringe message board 4chan, and the troll’s message quickly gained internet traction.
Some far-right news websites wrote articles based on the tweet, including The Federalist Papers, which published a post with the headline, ”Resistance Member Says Pedophilia Is Sexual Orientation, Claims Bigotry.”