Hoax Ad Shared as Evidence of Facebook, TED Supporting Pedophilia

With the statement “Pedophilia is a natural sexual orientation”, the photo is being shared as an ad for a TED talk.

Published
WebQoof
4 min read
With the statement “Pedophilia is a natural sexual orientation”, the photo is being shared as an ad for a TED talk.
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A photo of a purported ad on Facebook, supporting pedophilia, which is seemingly sponsored by TED, among others, is doing the rounds on social media. However, no such ad was ever made and the photo is doctored.

CLAIM

Hoax Ad Shared as Evidence of Facebook, TED Supporting Pedophilia
(Photo Courtesy: Facebook)

The photo being shared is a combination of what appears to be an advertisement on Facebook, along with a message from the social media platform replying to an escalation saying that the photo does not go against their platform standards.

The alleged ad carries the logos of popular organisation TED, which organises talks and conferences, and North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), among others. NAMBLA is a pedophilia and pederasty advocacy organisation based in the United States.

With the statement “Pedophilia is a natural sexual orientation”, the photo seems to come across as an ad for a TED talk on this topic.

The photo of just the ‘ad’ or the ‘ad’ along with Facebook’s purported response was shared by many people slamming the platform for their ‘pro-pedophilia’ stance.

Archived <a href="http://archive.is/wip/iY5Om">here</a>.
Archived here.
(Photo: Facebook)
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Archived here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Facebook)
Archived <a href="http://archive.is/idUnI">here</a>.
Archived here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Twitter)
Archived <a href="http://archive.is/59a7n">here</a>.
Archived here.
(Photo: Screenshot/Twitter)

WHAT WE FOUND

TEDx Talk About Pedophilia

On searching for talks on this topic by TED, we came across reports from July 2018 about a TEDx talk held at University of Würtzberg in Germany in May 2018, where one of the speakers, a medical student, argued in her talk that pedophilia should be accepted as “an unchangeable sexual orientation.”

The speaker said that it was a natural sexual orientation that was different from child sexual abuse and that it was important to change the perception of this orientation of people, even as she asserted that giving into such an impulse should not be supported.

The talk received massive backlash on the internet and was later taken down, but copies of it have remained available online.

According to a blog by TED, dated June 2018, the TEDx talk was taken down from the TEDx YouTube channel, after which TED reached out to find out more about the incident. According to TED, the speaker had herself requested for its removal citing concerns about her own safety.

“After reviewing the talk, we believe it cites research in ways that are open to serious misinterpretation. This led some viewers to interpret the talk as an argument in favour of an illegal and harmful practice. TED would like to make clear that it does not promote pedophilia,” the statement from TED on the blog said.

It may be noted here that TEDx talks are independent of the main TED conference and that TED does not control the content of TEDx events. TEDx events simply operate under the umbrella of TED.

Ad for the Talk? No!

Further, on running a reverse-search on the photo in the purported ad, we found that it is a stock photo of a child and a parent available on at least two photo websites, Fotosearch and Shutterstock.

Hoax Ad Shared as Evidence of Facebook, TED Supporting Pedophilia
(Photo: Screenshot/Fotosearch)
Hoax Ad Shared as Evidence of Facebook, TED Supporting Pedophilia
(Photo: Screenshot/Shutterstock)

We also found the first instance of the ‘ad’, without the Facebook context, shared on a blogpost dated September 2018.

Hoax Ad Shared as Evidence of Facebook, TED Supporting Pedophilia
(Photo: Screenshot)

It may be noted here that the ad, had it actually been made for the talk, would have had the logo of TEDx and not TED. Further, we could not identify the existence of any organisation called MAPTASTIC, which is also featured on the ‘ad’.

MAP however, would refer to Minor Attracted Persons (MAPs), but a search for this organisation yielded no results. However, we found that the same flag logo was widely used on the internet for a movement called ‘Anti-Homophobe Aktion’.

The Quint reached out to TED to check about the veracity of such an advertisement.

"I can confirm the ad is a blatant misuse of the TED logo and tagline. TED has not had a hand in creating or approving this ad,” a spokesperson for TED told The Quint.

The Quint also reached out to Facebook for their response regarding this ‘ad’ and was told that the platform does not tolerate any such content.

“We have a zero tolerance policy for any content that sexualises minors or promotes child abuse on Facebook and will remove such content from our platform as soon as we become aware of it, " a Facebook Company spokesperson told The Quint.

Therefore, it is clear that a hoax ad was created after the above mentioned TEDx talk was given, to imply that TED and Facebook support pedophilia.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

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