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Sara Swann
By Sara Swann April 20, 2023

No, Huggies diaper designs don’t include coded references to pedophilia

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  • Huggies and its parent company, Kimberly-Clark Corp., said, "Our products and its designs are in no way meant to represent anything other than fun and playful designs."

  • This claim is related to the debunked Pizzagate and QAnon conspiracy theories that draw inference from symbols and falsely claim the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles.

The latest QAnon conspiracy theory sweeping the internet targets Huggies, claiming the brand’s diaper designs contain secret, nefarious meanings.

An April 16 Instagram post claimed symbols on Huggies diapers "have been identified by the FBI as known pedo code." (Pedo is short for pedophile.)

The post includes a photo of a Huggies diaper featuring Simba from "The Lion King" and swirling sun and triangle symbols. These symbols are circled in the photo.

"What are the odds of having two separate pedophile code symbols being used on the same child’s product?" the post’s caption read.

The post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

This claim has been widely shared on several social media platforms. It gained traction March 20, after a self-described "authorized conspiracy theorist" with thousands of followers tweeted a photo of the Huggies diaper with certain symbols circled and said, "Once you truly awake you ain’t going back to sleep."

That Twitter account was suspended following the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, but it was reinstated in January, according to Media Matters, a liberal media analysis group.

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These claims are based on a 2007 FBI document released by WikiLeaks. The document appears to be an "unclassified intelligence bulletin" related to the FBI’s Innocent Images National Initiative, detailing "symbols and logos used by pedophiles to identify sexual preferences."

Although the FBI has not confirmed the document’s authenticity, the Innocent Images National Initiative was real. The FBI began the initiative in the 1990s to investigate online child predators and the initiative is now part of the Violent Crimes Against Children Unit.

The document claims pedophiles use different symbols to signal sexual preferences. For example, a blue triangular spiral, according to the document, is code for "boy lover," and a blue circular spiral means "little boy lover." The document claims these symbols have been found on jewelry and coins.

However, it is not uncommon for American companies to use triangles, circles, swirls and other shapes in their business designs and brand logos.

Huggies and its parent company Kimberly-Clark Corp. responded to this claim on Twitter, saying the companies take children’s safety and well-being seriously. "Our products and its designs are in no way meant to represent anything other than fun and playful designs."

For years, QAnon conspiracy theorists, who believe a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles runs the world, have pushed the claim that certain symbols are coded references to pedophilia. This claim is related to the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy theory, which began to spread during the 2016 presidential election, when WikiLeaks published emails from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton's campaign chair.

Its believers claimed the Comet Ping Pong pizzeria in Washington, D.C., was holding children hostage as part of a trafficking ring involving Clinton. It also held that designs and logos used by businesses near Comet Ping Pong resembled pedophile symbols flagged by the FBI.

We rate the claim that symbols on Huggies diapers are coded references to pedophilia Pants on Fire!

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No, Huggies diaper designs don’t include coded references to pedophilia

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