One Dumb Conspiracy is a weekly column that debunks the mostly wild conspiracy theories swirling around the web and runs on Mondays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.
Although some say one documentary is being made while others say four, the general message is the same: Gibson is about to face an unprecedented smear campaign by the global elite due to his planned exposure of human trafficking rings.
The claim is straight from the QAnon textbook, a conspiracy theory that claims former President Donald Trump and a team of secret government insiders are working to topple such rings run by child-eating Democrats.
Countless articles from fake news sites have touted the claim, leading conspiratorial Twitter users to believe that the documentary is set to drop any day.
“What? Mel Gibson making a documentary on the $34 billion global child sex trafficking market involving Jeffery Epstein?” one user asked in a tweet with more than 6,000 shares.
The claim appears to have originated from the founder of an anti-trafficking nonprofit based in Utah who alleged that Gibson had provided financial support for the film’s development.
Yet the founder later admitted that despite the alleged financial aid, Gibson was in no way involved in the documentary’s production. Still, the claims continue to spread online among conspiracy theorists.
Alan Nierob, Gibson’s longtime publicist, said in a statement to the media that the claims online were inaccurate.
“He is not making any documentary,” the publicist said.
While it’s possible that Gibson did provide initial funding for the project, a topic that Nierob declined to discuss, the publicist reiterated that the actor was “not financing a multi-part documentary of any kind.”
The Utah-based organization, known as Operation Underground Railroad, has been criticized for not only exaggerating its successes in battling human-trafficking but for appearing to support the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Although human-trafficking is a very real and serious problem across the globe, conspiracy theorists continue to latch onto false claims.
Why it matters
The QAnon conspiracy theory is now central to modern Republican politics, leading many conservatives to blindly believe any claims regarding the topic.
Anti-trafficking organizations have warned that efforts to combat actual child abuse and human trafficking are hindered by conspiracy theorists who flood their hotlines with debunked reports.
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