"Over 800,000 kids go missing in the U.S. every year! Child sex trafficking is the REAL pandemic. #SaveTheChildren #SaveOurChildren #ChildLivesMatter #Pedogate #Pedowood"

If you've been on social media in the past month or two, you've likely seen memes or posts to this effect. And if you're a person with a conscience, it likely caught your eye. Children being trafficked for sex—that's horrible!

Yes, it is. It's absolutely horrible. Child sex trafficking is basically the worst thing human beings can do, no question. But what do those #Pedogate and #Pedowood hashtags mean?

Yes, those. Unfortunately, they point directly to a QAnon-perpetuated conspiracy theory in which the world is being controlled by an elite global cabal of pedophilic Hollywood celebrities and high-level politicians (including Tom Hanks, Oprah, Hillary Clinton, and more) who secretly traffick, abuse, and torture children so they can harvest a fear-induced hormone in their blood to make adrenocrhome, which they consume to keep them young and/or imbibe during their drug-crazed Satanic rituals.

What?! That's crazy.

Yes, it is. It's absolutely crazy. But there are a baffling number of people who believe it, including people who will likely soon be serving in Congress. Many of these people are sharing the #SaveOurChildren and #ChildLivesMatter hashtags right along with #Pedowood and #Pedogate. They conflate this huge number of missing kids with the issue of child sex trafficking, and then point to the celebrity/politician cabal conspiracy theory in the same breath, as if it's all the same thing.

It is not.

Keep Reading Show less