QAnon Was Born Out of the Sex Ad Moral Panic That Took Down Backpage.com

Source: theintercept.com 4/27/24

For years, the political establishment opportunistically railed against sex trafficking. Then came Pizzagate.

Americans adore a moral panic.

During the Red Scare, we believed that Soviet agents were everywhere, having secretly infiltrated all levels of society. In the 1950s, the U.S. government banned switchblades over unfounded fears that we were in the throes of “West Side Story”-style knife violence. The Satanic Panic convinced Americans of the 1980s that absurd claims of ritual abuse and sacrifice were somehow credible. Around the same time, there was “stranger danger” — which was debunked like other moral panics, but never went away entirely.

At any given time, America is moving in and out of some moral panic or another. Harm to children is a persistent theme. In recent years, however, our national obsession with these moral panics has consumed our politics. We’ve come to believe that sex trafficking rings are all around us. The driving force may come as a surprise: a moral panic about consensual sex workers who advertised legally on the internet.

The far-right’s current obsession with “child sex trafficking” — the animating force behind such conspiracy theories as QAnon and Pizzagate, as well as coded political insults like “groomer” — has roots in this moral panic hyped by powerful Republicans and Democrats alike. The panic reached its crescendo with the 2018 federal indictments related to a sex ad hub called Backpage.com.

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This writer blathered on endlessly, and after 20 paragraphs I still wasn’t quite sure where it was going, but what I finally gathered is that they are fro some peculiar reason trying to convince the reader that child sex trafficking isn’t a problem. As a person convicted of viewing exploited minors on the internet I can say quite equivocally that it is a huge problem. Once you tap into the recesses of the dark web and find where the stuff is the most shocking thing is how much of it is readily accessible. If thousands of images depicting hundreds and hundreds of minors are available at and y given time, then I can be sure that those people who wish to take it a step further and actually have contact with minors is surely plentiful.

I believe the writer is correct in stating the DOJ abuses their authority just to get funding, no doubt about that, but to say the problem isn’t real, and that an enormous amount of children are not in danger is either ignorant or they have a particular agenda and want to steer away from the issue. The one fact this article does bring to light is that nobody really knows the actual numbers. Nobody seems to know how many minors are caught up in this, whether the number is great or lesser is still unknown, and that in itself is terrible.

QAnon was just an offshoot and sub-genre of the “protect our kids” narrative that became militant and confrontational.The irony is, a lot of actual sexual abusers and dregs used this as cover to operate in secrecy. You would think it would be the ultimate halo effect, right?

QAnon is just a sideshow of manufactured outrage as a distraction for the GOP> That, along with fighting over bathrooms and pronouns.

Last edited 19 days ago by Facts should matter

I read the article and it is rooted in facts the author witnessed in the reporting on the fall of adult entertainment advertising and related sites. What surprised me is that the author never made the logical observation that the religious right controls the GOP, look at Mike Johnson about as religious right as you can get. The religious right sees catholics as tools of the left even though they’re christians just to make a point.
History shows us Puritan culture in this country, before this was its own country, was in total control of what its community thought was moral and right. The “morality police” of Puritan society put many people to death for witchcraft even though we know today they were most likely innocent. (people with bipolar, as an example, are able to read people much faster than the average person and tell individuals about themselves. Great disease to have if you’re in the psychic business) We know these witch killings as the Salem Witch Trials. Those people in life who wish to be very melodramatic say they have a scarlet letter on them for whatever incident has branded them. The Puritans created the Scarlet Letter for Adultery.

The religious right in this country wants to legislate everyone’s morality. From the centuries before the Puritan morality police are coming back just this time in the shape of local sheriffs, county councils, state legislatures and federal politicians.