Conspiracy theorists are convinced that recent discoveries of missing children are linked to the arrest of accused sex trafficker Ghislaine Maxwell.
The claim began gaining traction online last week after U.S. Marshals announced they had found 39 missing children in Georgia.
Tweets began surfacing suggesting a connection between the discovery and Maxwell, the accused confidant of deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
One conspiratorial tweet on the incident even garnered 78,000 retweets and more than 295,000 likes.
The Twitter user, @jcovo15, even cited a CNN article on the missing children moments after accusing the media of failing to cover the incident.
But conspiracy theorists are struggling to get the most basic facts on the operation correct.
For starters, the children were not all discovered in one trailer or truck and were instead found in various locations over a two-week period.
While some of the children were reported to have been victims of sex trafficking, others were linked to parental kidnapping and custodial interference cases.
Additionally, 13 of the missing children were found safe and unharmed, and no evidence whatsoever links any of the children to Maxwell.
Another popular claim among conspiracy theorists is that these recent reports also indicate an uptick in the discovery of missing children.
Many online have also pointed to the rescue of 8 children in North Carolina this month after a police officer infiltrated a child porn chat group.
Although conspiracy theorists have linked the incident to Maxwell’s arrest, the investigation into the child porn chat room actually began two years ago.
In another viral tweet, one Twitter user listed out several cases of discovered children and similarly attempted to tie them to Maxwell.
The tweet reads:
“Within weeks of Ghislaine Maxwell’s arrest, federal agents recovered:
- 123 missing children in Michigan
- 39 missing children in Georgia
- 25 missing children in Ohio
& a search is ongoing for 150+ more
I can’t help but wonder whether her arrest & these recoveries are related.”
Unsurprisingly, the claim is filled with numerous holes.
The 123 missing children from Michigan, for example, were found in 2018. Once again, zero evidence points to Maxwell in any of the other cases.
The belief among conspiracy theorists that such discoveries are becoming more commonplace, even though such operations have been ongoing for decades, could be a result of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. When a person becomes more aware of a certain topic, they often falsely believe that the topic is therefore suddenly more prominent than it actually is.
In reality, conspiracy theorists are noticing and looking for missing children cases that they would have otherwise ignored just a few years ago prior to Maxwell and Epstein becoming household names.
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