News Brief

Why is this South African Agency Spreading Homophobic Lies?

South Africa's Film & Publication Board tweets fake news equating LGBTQ community with pedophilia.

"A new symbol has been added to the LGBTQi called Pedosexual (P)" begins the tweet from South Africa's Film & Publication Board. They continue: "It is defined as being or constituting pedosexuality, sexual activity between an adult and a child." The blue checkmark beside the account verifies that the account is indeed from the right government agency—one dedicated to regulating the media environment through the classification of content by:

  • Maintaining relevance to the values and norms of South African society through scientific research
  • Balancing the right to freedom of expression with an obligation to protect children from exposure to potentially disturbing, harmful and inappropriate materials
  • Protecting children from sexual exploitation in media content in order to educate the broader South African society to make informed choices

They follow up by saying "it is important to note that the FPB mandate is firmly rooted in the protection of children and women. The FPB condemns such," referring to the abuse of children no doubt. How anyone in this day and age, let alone someone employed the the FPB can believe something like this in 2017 points to how much more education if left to do on the matter.

Maybe this is just a particularly naive social media manager or maybe someone sees this kind of discourse as part of the FPB's mandate—to spread easily debunked and pernicious myths. OkayAfrica reached out the FPB for comment but has not received anything back. At time of publication the Tweet, which shares a link to fake news site "us.blastingnews.com" is still up.

The flyer that the FPB is sharing, according to the myth-busting site Snopes.com, is,

the work of a 4chan misinformation campaign that began with a 23 June 2016 thread about tricking LGBT activists into supporting pedophiles. These "PsyOps" campaigns are usually aimed at tricking ("redpilling") people into seeing "reality." Several users chimed in with their ideas of how to make and promote the poster, which originally included the tagline "Love Is Ageless":

Here's the original tweet:

Unsurprisingly, South Africans on twitter are not having it with this nonsense.

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