- On Friday Taco Bell ads were being served under the #EatTheBabies and the #EatTheChildren hashtags
- Both hashtags began trending after an alleged Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez supporter went on a strange rant on Thursday at a town hall in New York City
- After video of the rant went viral on social media, the conspiracy theorist group Lyndon LaRouche PAC
- Twitter was not sure why Taco Bell ads were being served under the two hashtags but blacklisted both hashtags from ads Friday morning
If you are wondering why “Eat The Children” and “Eat The Babies” are trending on Twitter and what the hell either has to do with Taco Bell, you are not alone. The entire situation is one of the weirder trending stories.
Both #EatTheChildren and #EatTheBabies originate from a town hall hosted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York City on Thursday. During the town hall a “supporter” of Ocasio-Cortez went on a bizarre rant urging people to “eat the babies.”
The woman took her jacket off to reveal a shirt that read “Save the planet. Eat the children.” The short outburst was shared via video to Twitter by Ryan Saavedra then retweeted by Donald Trump Jr. with the caption, “Seems like a normal AOC supporter to me.”
Seems like a normal AOC supporter to me. https://t.co/NWVMRD0wsl— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) October 4, 2019
President Donald Trump then retweeted his son’s tweet with the caption, “AOC is a Wack Job.”
AOC is a Wack Job! https://t.co/LU3hIeek0c— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 4, 2019
Suffering From A Mental Condition
After the clip began circulating on social media Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about the outburst. Ocasio-Cortez said she was concerned the woman may have been “suffering from a mental condition.” She condemned those from the far-right for “mocking” the woman and potentially making “her condition or crisis worse.”
This person may have been suffering from a mental condition and it’s not okay that the right-wing is mocking her and potentially make her condition or crisis worse. Be a decent human being and knock it off.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) October 4, 2019
LaRouchePAC Trolls AOC
After the video went viral it was discovered the woman was actually sent in by the conspiracy group LaRouche PAC to “troll” Ocasio-Cortez. The group was founded by conspiracy theorist Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. who died earlier this year. Among other conspiracies, La Rouche claimed climate change is a hoax, and went as far as to compare carbon dioxide reduction policies to “genocide,” according to BuzzFeed News. The Lyndon LaRouche PAC retweeted Saavedra’s video with the caption “LaRouchePAC trolls AOC, AOC doesn’t rule out eating babies.”
LaRouche PAC runs an “Eat the Children” campaign based on “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift. Swift wrote the satirical essay in 1729 and attempted to bring attention to England’s treatment of the Irtish living in poverty. In the essay, Swift suggested poor Irish families sell their children as food to the rich landlords. In a response tweet, LaRouche PAC wrote, “Malthusianism isn’t new, Jonathon Swift knew that. Sometimes, only satire works.”
So the two hashtags began trending due to a conspiracy theorist plant meant to troll Ocasio-Cortez but what does that have to do with Taco Bell? On Friday, which just happened to be #NationalTacoDay, Taco Bell ads started being served under the #EatTheChildren and #EattheBabies hashtags. Not even Twitter could explain how exactly this happened.
According to a Twitter spokesperson, the social media site managed to identify the issue and blacklisted the two hashtags from being able to receive any ads from a search early Friday morning. It is not clear how long the ads showed up under the hashtags and no other brands are believed to have had the same issue.