In August 2022, photos of a brochure appeared on social media, which seems to be a manual for children explaining how the youth should react when coming in contact with adult strangers with paedophile tendencies. This leaflet provides the very opposite advice to that given to children around the world, including the UK. A post with the fake brochure was shared frequently by Confederate politicians [1, 2, 3], including Sebastian Ross, the vice-president of the Korwin Party branch in London. However, the source of the photo indicates its Russian, not British, origin.
Russian origin of a paedophilia brochure
At the very first sight, attention is drawn to a photo of the brochure with crayons scattered around it. This composition suggestively emphasises that the leaflet is aimed at children. Reverse image search leads to the oldest publication of the graphic in question on the Russian social networking site vKontakte, and more specifically on a profile focused on Saint-Petersburg called “City SPb”.
The post of August 8 shows all pages of the brochure with the following description:
There are no more problems, and the UK is now worried about the feelings of paedophiles (not a joke).
A Russian vacationer in Europe stumbled upon a brochure on how to deal with a paedophile. It is intended for children.
Here are a few points:
– DO NOT scream or cry. That can hurt the person’s feelings;
– DO NOT call him a pedophile. This can be just as offensive as n-word!
– Try to get to know him better. He just wants to make new friends, just like you!
The portal did not explain how the alleged Russian tourist came across a brochure for children in Great Britain.
The post was viewed over 16,000 times. On the same day, the same photos were published by the Russian profile Ведомство on Telegram, which has more than 47.5 thousand followers. Apart from the single copy on Russian websites, no other version of this leaflet or even a mention of it can be found on the Internet.
Even though the brochure was allegedly published in Great Britain, the most important word in it – pedophile – is written in the American version. As per Cambridge Dictionary, the correct British spelling of this word is paedophile. The authors of the printout used the word in the Anglo-Saxon notation, which seems to be a fairly basic mistake, considering the subject of the leaflet.
Furthermore, in correct English, “n-word” should be preceded by the definite article “the”, as it refers to a very specific word beginning with “n”. The same applies to the (in)famous “f-word”. Otherwise, “n-word” would refer to any English word beginning with “n” (and it would still require an article, but this time the indefinite “an”), and this is clearly not what the author had in mind. As an official brochure distributed in the United Kingdom, it should be free of any errors of this kind, which additionally suggests that a native speaker did not prepare it.
The brochure is part of Russian propaganda
On August 15, Russian Tsargrad TV published an article titled ”British Children Learn to Invite Pedophiles Home”. The editor-in-chief of this channel was the Kremlin’s chief ideologist, Alexandr Dugin.
The publication reads as follows:
It is worth noting that the promotion of the legalization of pedophilia in the West is not an isolated incident, but a deliberate vector of the hard work of perverted lobbyists. We in Russia do not need such ”values” – violence against our children is categorically unacceptable.
The above information clearly shows that the brochure in question is another example of an inwardly directed Kremlin propaganda campaign aimed at discrediting the West as morally corrupt.
Posts with the fake brochure was posted by Hungarian or Spanish accounts, and even by an American portal 9GAG.
Actual recommendations in the UK – the PANTS rules
The actual educational campaign on how to protect little ones in Britain looks quite different from what Russian propaganda says. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC), a British charity that has been dealing with the protection of children for 130 years, has prepared five rules to ensure the safety of children.
NSPCC has prepared educational materials for teachers to teach children how to behave when approached by strangers. This set of rules is referred to as PANTS.
The organisation established cooperation with the children’s publishing house Penguin and Ladybird, as a result of which the fairy tale “Pantosaurus” was created for children aged 4-8. Its hero shows children how they should behave in contacts with strangers according to the principles of PANTS.
The source of the alleged English brochure is photos posted on Russian social media by an alleged, anonymous Russian tourist. This brochure fits in with the Kremlin propaganda campaign aimed at showing the “moral decay” of citizens of Western countries. This activity is aimed mainly at internal recipients, but as the examples mentioned above show, it also finds fertile ground in Poland.
Cambridge Dictionary: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/pl/dictionary/english/paedophile