December 29, 2022 | WaPo

Extremists attempted to justify the mass shooting in Colorado with anti-LGBTQ discourse

Victims of anti-LGBTQ hate and violence are being targeted by white supremacy groups and conspiracists claiming “grooming” narratives and other harmful narratives. Following the shooting in Colorado’s Club Q, ISD identified a spike in social media posts using the term “pedophile” and “groomers”, as cited by the Washington Post in December.

“Generally, there is an outpouring of, as they say, ‘thoughts and prayers,’” said ISD’s Executive Director for AMEA, Moustafa Ayad, but this time there was also an influx of far-right groups and influencers attempting ‘to justify the mass shooting’.

The discourse that followed “creates an existential threat. It widens the reach of some of these narratives that have started off in incredibly fringe places,” he said. “It’s getting to a point where the fact that there haven’t been more [deadly] attacks is surprising.”

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