USA Today was forced to make a hasty race for the “delete tweet” button after a series of bizarre Twitter posts concerning the “science” behind pedophilia- the kind that many felt came across as trying to normalize the practice.
Several tweets were involved, but the one that caused the most public backlash was posted on Monday morning.
“In recent decades, the science on pedophilia has improved. One of the most significant findings is that pedophilia is likely determined in the womb, though environmental factors may influence whether someone acts on an urge to abuse.”
USA Today Life [@USATodayLife] would then post a blurb to the article, “What the Public Keeps Getting Wrong About Pedophilia.”
“We thing we know what a pedophile is,” the tweet read. “There is a lot we’re misunderstanding.”
In what has been claimed as an effort to backtrack, USA Today deleted the series of tweets, claiming the statements lacked context.
“A previous thread did not include all information and the story it was written about is behind a paywall,” USA Today Life tweeted. “We made the decision to delete the thread.”
However, the internet is forever, and screenshots of all the tweets were quickly released, including one deleted tweet that read:
“When most of the public thinks of pedophilia, they assume it’s synonymous with child sexual abuse. A pedophile is an adult who is sexually attracted to children, but not all pedophiles abuse kids and some people who sexually abuse kids are not pedophiles.”
“That’s ok,” user Katharina wrote, releasing screenshots of all the tweets made on the matter by USA Today.
According to Summit, despite removing a paywall and deleting tweets, USA Today’s backpedaling was seen by many as being even worse than their original mistake.
“This is worse than the actual thread you deleted,” one user wrote.
The article, penned by “sex researcher” and “pedophilia expert” James Canton, claimed that “evidence suggests [pedophilia] is inborn, neurological.”
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