Last week, a social media post fueled a years-old pedophilia conspiracy theory surrounding some high profile Democrats.
The Jan. 16 Facebook post features an image of an apparent scan of an email obtained by Wikileaks, which has been described as a "giant library of the world's most persecuted documents," according to founder, Julian Assange, on its website.
The 'Email' Sent by Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama
The alleged email, dated Jan. 26, 2011, appears to have been sent by Hillary Clinton to former President Barack Obama, warning him about running "the pizza arrangement" at the "whitehouse" and mentions inviting "hot dogs." The post is captioned, "This is what Seth Rich died for. This is what started pizzagate."
In addition to Obama, the email, signatured "Hillary," also included as recipients former aide Huma Abedin; former White House chief of staff John Podesta; actor Ben Affleck and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
According to QAnon conspiracy theorists, the terms "pizza" and "hot dogs" are code words for child prostitution. "Hot dogs" refers to boys and "pizza," to girls. These code words were derived from far-right pundit Alex Jones, who introduced the concept of "FBI code words for sex with kids" during an Aug. 1, 2018, taping of his TV show.
Who is Seth Rich?
Seth Rich, the former Democratic National Committee staffer named in the social media post, was shot to death during a robbery attempt on July 10, 2016. Following his death, WikiLeaks released thousands of hacked DNC emails. Facing accusations from high-profile members of the Democratic Party, including Clinton, that Russians helped WikiLeaks acquire the emails, Assange suggested Rich may have leaked the emails, triggering several conspiracy theories.
What is the QAnon Conspiracy Theory?
The widespread but baseless far-right conspiracy theory claims that an elite group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles runing the world are involved in a global child sex-trafficking ring.
QAnon believers have speculated that this fight will lead to a day of reckoning known as "The Storm," where Hollywood A-listers, leading philanthropists, Democrat politicians such as Clinton and Obama and other members of the cabal will be arrested. The conspiracy theory began in 2017 and has since snowballed in popularity around the world.
A similar conspiracy theory, called Pizzagate, which surfaced during the 2016 presidential campaign, has already been debunked. The theory claimed WikiLeaks emails uncovered a child sex trafficking ring run by then-Democratic presidential candidate Clinton from the basement of a Washington, D.C.-based pizza restaurant.
The newly-leaked email from Clinton can also be flagged as fake. Not only is it based off a debunked conspiracy theory, an investigation into foreign interference in the 2-16 presidential election also revealed that the late-DNC staffer Rich was not the source of the emails to WikiLeaks, as the claim stated.