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Debunked: No, the World Economic Forum did not suggest reducing the age of consent to 13

Some social media users suggested that the satirical post was legitimate.

For debunks

POSTS WHICH HAVE been shared on Facebook and Twitter has incorrectly claimed that the World Economic Forum (WEF) tweeted its support for the age of sexual consent to be lowered to 13. 

A screenshot of a tweet purporting to have been sent by the WEF from its main account has appeared on several social media platforms.

The group is an international NGO whose aim is to seek the betterment of the world by “engaging business, political, academic, and other leaders of society to shape global, regional, and industry agendas”.

The WEF is best known for its annual meeting of world leaders at Davos in Switzerland each January.

However, the group and its founder Klaus Schwab are also the subjects of conspiracy theories by those who believe there is a global plan to depopulate western countries.

A post referring to the age of consent appears legitimate on the first viewing and even has a link to what appears to be an official WEF website.

It reads: “Should the age of consent be lowered to 13 or less? How age of consent laws may be infringing on human rights.”

Screenshot 2021-08-10 1.01.18 PM The screenshot in question. Source: Twitter

Various checks of the WEF’s official Twitter account found no trace of this tweet, and the link is invalid when you click it.

The original screenshot was shared as part of a thread by a Twitter user who regularly posts satirical content. The author of the original post even tweeted in response to a reply on the original thread and categorically stated that these are “fake parody tweets”.

However, this did not stop the picture being posted to conspiracy theorist social media accounts with thousands of followers.

News wire service Reuters also received comment from the WEF in which a spokesperson categorically stated that the tweet “is a fake”.

Facebook, through its independent fact-checkers, removed multiple iterations of this screenshot which were being shared by people who, knowingly or otherwise, believed the tweet to be legitimate.

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Other posts tweeted by the satirical Twitter account include claims about the climate crisis and refugees and the consumption of insects: 

Screenshot 2021-08-10 1.05.26 PM

Screenshot 2021-08-10 1.04.15 PM

Both the WEF and the original author of the satirical post regarding the age of consent have rubbished the authenticity of the tweet.

There is no truth to the claims that the WEF has recommended lowering the age of consent to 13.

The Journal’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here

Have you gotten a message on WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter that you’re not sure about and want us to check it out? Message or mail us and we’ll look into debunking it. WhatsApp: 085 221 4696 or Email: answers@thejournal.ie

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