QAnon?? You Probably Don’t Know What It Is. But, It May Be The Next Nazi Party — And You May Already Be A Part Of It.

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Maybe you haven’t heard of it — or maybe you have and just don’t know what it’s all about. Here are three stories that might help clarify what QAnon is and what its role is in the world. 

The FBI warns that fringe political conspiracy theories drive domestic extremists to commit terror attacks. An internal FBI memo says the spread of misinformation is partly to blame, and U.S. President Donald Trump is mentioned in the document. Jackson Proskow explains.

Just who is hoodwinking who? There’s no doubt COVID-19 has caused great uncertainty in the world, but does that mean we should now ignore the scientists, doctors and even politicians who are fighting to figure out ways to beat the virus? Well yes, if you believe an increasing number of increasingly angry people who are convinced coronavirus is nothing more than a sinister plot to control their lives. But what do these conspiracy theorists know that we don’t, and why do so many people listen to them? Liz Hayes speaks with Australians, including the controversial celebrity Pete Evans, who are sick of being told what to do by the government and other authorities.

The November ballot is starting to get crowded with candidates tied to QAnon.

Donald Trump said he didn’t know anything about QAnon during Thursday’s NBC town hall. QAnon are a false conspiracy theory that Democrats are part of a global ‘satanic’ pedophile ring ‘run by the deep state’. The president first praised them for opposing pedophilia before saying he knew nothing about the movement. “Can you just once and for all state that this is not true and disavow QAnon in its entirety?” Moderator Savannah Guthrie asked. “I know nothing about QAnon, I know very little,” Trump said. “I just told you,” Guthrie replied. “You told me, but what you told me doesn’t necessarily make it fact, I hate to say that,” Mr. Trump said. “I know nothing about it, I do know they are very much against pedophilia, they fight it very hard. But I know nothing about it.” “They believe it is a satanic cult run by the deep state,” Guthrie cut in. Mr. Trump said what he does know about is “antifa and the radical left.” Guthrie cut in again, telling Mr. Trump: “Republican Senator Ben Sasse said, ‘QAnon is nuts and real leaders call conspiracy theories conspiracy theories.'” “Why not just say it’s not true?” Guthrie pressed. “He may be right, I just don’t know about QAnon,” Trump replied. “You do know,” Guthrie challenged. Mr. Trump insisted he doesn’t know and told Guthrie to continue her questioning. “What I do hear about [QAnon] is that they’re very strong against pedophila, and I agree with that,” he continued. When Guthrie pressed him again, Mr. Trump again said he does not know about the QAnon theories. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), “QAnon is a wide-reaching conspiracy theory popular among a range of right-wing extremists and even some public supporters of President Trump.” The group first surfaced on 4chan in 2017 and adherents follow “the anonymous Q.”

According to Wikipedia…

QAnon (/ˌkjəˈnɒn/) is a disproven and discredited far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against US president Donald Trump, who is fighting the cabal. QAnon also commonly asserts that Trump is planning a day of reckoning known as the “Storm”, when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested. No part of the conspiracy claim is based in fact. QAnon supporters have accused many liberal Hollywood actors, Democratic politicians, and high-ranking government officials of being members of the cabal. They have also claimed that Trump feigned conspiracy with Russians to enlist Robert Mueller to join him in exposing the sex trafficking ring and preventing a coup d’état by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and George Soros.

Although preceded by similar viral conspiracy theories such as Pizzagate, which has since become part of QAnon, the conspiracy theory began with an October 2017 post on the anonymous imageboard 4chan by “Q”, who was presumably an American individual; it is now more likely that “Q” has become a group of people acting under the same name. An OrphAnalytics analysis of Q posts claims to have uncovered that at least two people wrote as “Q” in different periods. Q claimed to be a high-level government official with Q clearance, who has access to classified information involving the Trump administration and its opponents in the United States. NBC News reported that three people took the original Q post and spread it across multiple media platforms to build an Internet following for profit. QAnon was preceded by several similar anonymous 4chan posters, such as FBIAnon, HLIAnon (High-Level Insider), CIAAnon, and WH Insider Anon. Although American in origin, there is now a considerable QAnon movement outside of the United States, particularly in Europe.

QAnon adherents began appearing at Trump reelection campaign rallies in August 2018. Bill Mitchell, a broadcaster who has promoted QAnon, attended a White House “social media summit” in July 2019. QAnon believers commonly tag their social media posts with the hashtag #WWG1WGA, signifying the motto “Where We Go One, We Go All”. At an August 2019 rally, a man warming up the crowd used the QAnon motto, later denying that it was a QAnon reference. This occurred hours after the FBI published a report calling QAnon a potential source of domestic terrorism—the first time the agency had so rated a fringe conspiracy theory. According to analysis by Media Matters for America, as of October 2020, Trump had amplified QAnon messaging at least 258 times by retweeting or mentioning 150 Twitter accounts affiliated with QAnon, sometimes multiple times a day. QAnon followers came to refer to Trump as “Q+”.

The number of QAnon adherents is unclear as of October 2020, but the group maintains a large online following. In June 2020, Q exhorted followers to take a “digital soldiers oath”, and many did, using the Twitter hashtag #TakeTheOath. In July 2020, Twitter banned thousands of QAnon-affiliated accounts and changed its algorithms to reduce the conspiracy theory’s spread. A Facebookinternal analysis reported in August found millions of followers across thousands of groups and pages; Facebook acted later that month to remove and restrict QAnon activity, and in October it said it would ban the conspiracy theory from its platform altogether. Followers had also migrated to dedicated message boards such as EndChan and 8chan (now rebranded as “8kun”), where they organized to wage information warfare in an attempt to influence the 2020 United States presidential election.

Thank you for reading this article, we hope it was both fun to read and educational. Let us know what you think in the comments section below. Do you think the QAnon Party is healthy for American society and governance — or is it a complex propaganda machine fueling the rise of anarchy? Thanks again for your engagement and please, if you liked this article, share it with your friends.

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