On Sunday, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert falsely claimed that hundreds of thousands of children went missing last year and that the media was ignoring the story completely. She concluded the tweet by saying: “There enlies the problem.”
Rather than focusing on the obvious disinformation in the tweet, which is a dog whistle to the QAnon conspiracy movement, Twitter users focused instead on the error in the tweet.
And instead of debunking the lies Boebert was spreading, the tweet was shared and liked tens of thousands of times to mock her typo. Thousands of people spent the day calling the freshman lawmaker dumb.
The hashtags #LaurenBoebertIsSoDumb and #enlies were both trending on Twitter.
Boebert’s viral typo tweet mirrors one posted last month by Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who was an early supporter of the Pizzagate and QAnon conspiracies, also spreads conspiracies about child trafficking.
As one extremist researcher pointed out, the tweet from Greene went viral mainly because it included a typo in the final line.
And just like Boebert’s tweet on Sunday, Twitter users ignored Greene’s racist remarks and instead simply used the opportunity to call her dumb.
On Sunday, Boebert responded to the Twitter ridicule by continuing to troll those who criticized her and suggested that she intentionally made the mistakes in her tweets.
“Remember [Boebert and Greene] have access to strategic communication experts, comms people, strategists, etc,” Marc Andre Argentino, an extremist researcher tweeted. “And with all the social media data out there they can easily map the behavior of those who oppose them.”
In her tweet, Boebert claimed that “365,348 children went missing in 2020.” That figure came from a National Crime Information Center report on missing children for juveniles under the age of 17 who were reported missing in 2020.
However, the vast majority of these cases were resolved by the end of the year. The figure for active juvenile cases was just 30,000—and virtually all of those cases will have been returned home safely by now.
Boebert’s false claim, however, is not the first of its kind. The conspiracy that there is widespread kidnapping and trafficking of children in the U.S. is one that has been pushed by the QAnon conspiracy movement for years.
Boebert briefly expressed support for the QAnon conspiracy before she entered Congress and denounced the movement. However, like many of her Republican colleagues, Boebert has continued to boost specific QAnon conspiracies, most notably this false belief that there is a huge number of children currently trafficked for sex in the U.S.