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The Anti-Masturbation Cross is a satirical furniture product supposedly designed to restrain a child on a crucifix-shaped board to prevent masturbation. The hoax went viral in June 2014 after a photoshopped promotional image of the product began circulating on Facebook and Twitter under the hashtag #StopSatan2014.
On June 26th, 2014, the satirical Facebook page Stop Masturbation Now posted a promotional image for a fictional product titled “The Anti-Masturbation Cross” (shown below). In the first 19 hours, the post received more than 10,000 shares, 5,900 comments and 2,700 likes.
On March 7th, 2013, a Facebook page for Stop Masturbation Now’s joke mascot Fappy the Anti-Masturbation Dolphin was created. On May 31st, a fake press release was posted on the website PRlog, which announced that documentary filmmaker Michael Moore was producing a film about the mascot who warns children about the dangers of sexual self-stimulation. The release was subsequently removed from the site and was reposted on the website Fappy the Movie on August 7th. The film was later revealed to be a hoax by the claimed president of Stop Masturbation Now Lonnie Childs.
Three hours after the image was posted to Facebook, Redditor seagalogist submitted it to the /r/funny subreddit, where it gained over 1,900 points and 260 comments in the following 16 hours. Later that day, Redditor Pinstar reposted it to the /r/atheism subreddit, where it received upwards of 2,300 upvotes and 300 comments in six hours.
Also on June 26th, Twitter users began posting about the device with the hashtag #StopSatan2014. Many who saw the image on their feeds were fooled into thinking it was a real product (shown below).
Other users subsequently began tweeting examples of unacceptable behaviors, temptations or societal ills with the hashtag (shown below).
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