A Brief History of QAnon: The Viral Conspiracy Theory That Has Dominated US Politics
QAnon is a social media frenzy that has currently snowballed into a serious socio-political phenomenon projecting to impact the US Presidential Election 2020.
History & Origin
Remember the time when Donald Trump triumphed over Hillary Clinton in the US Presidential Election 2016? Well, that’s when all this started. The QAnon first emerged in the months after this election. Initially, it was just a fringe internet message board before it eventually came out on various social media platforms.
QAnon is a mishmash of conspiracy theories holding Donald Trump as the savior of the US and the World as well, just in case. The most prevalent conspiracy theory is that the world is run by a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles who are plotting against Trump while operating a global child sex-trafficking ring. As expected, the conspiracy became extremely popular among highly motivated Trump supporters. They quickly latched on to the mysterious Q, resulting in Q signs and T-shirts showing up at Trump’s campaign rally. Last year the FBI labeled this very movement as a potential domestic terror threat.
QAnon followers believe that the group running the world includes top Democrats including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, as well as a number of entertainers and Hollywood celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres and religious figures including Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama. They are in control of the media, entertainment industries, and politicians alike. And the only person who can stop them is (yes, you guessed right) none other than Donald Trump.
This was the main course. Let’s list up some of the side dishes of compelling and reasonable beliefs as well.
- Bill gates created the COVID pandemic, and he is in the process of creating a cure that will induce US citizens with some form of microchips that will make them trackable pieces of puppets.
- COVID-19 pandemic is nothing but biowarfare targeted at pedophiles.
- Michelle Obama is a man.
- Democrat politicians and celebrities eat human babies instead of the regular baby corn fry.
- Reptilian aliens have shape-shifted into humanity, and by turn are running the white house.
Yeah, I’ll understand if you feel that the things in this article seem both hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time.
This is where things get serious. According to Newsnight, this particular conspiracy theory garnered crazy attention during the pandemic. Furthermore, the BBC issued a report sighting the use of hashtags specific to QAnon on Social Media platforms spiked up to 700% in March 2020. As expected, most followers are US citizens. However, countries like the UK, Germany, and Brazil are also showing a growing interest in QAnon from the past few months.
Following the pandemic, Twitter was flooded by people taking the oath to QAnon.
Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Conservative US politician, has been vocal about her support towards QAnon devotees. Experts have opined that Trump is using the situation tactfully to his benefits, months ahead of the next presidential election.
Sadly, families and the common US citizens are suffering because of QAnon’s absolute disbelief in the actuality of the pandemic. Many of them go out in public without masks disregarding the social distancing protocols. Moreover, many of them are quickly marking the COVID-19 affected people as pedophiles.
People are laughing at QAnons. Politicians are busy profiting from their blind passion. Still, they are adamant about this movement while it rips their families apart and compromises their safety in the process.
The Role of Social Media
Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok are taking steps against this irrational movement, banning profiles and groups endorsing QAnons. On August 31, 2020, Twitter took the unprecedented step of deleting a Trump retweet of a QAnon supporter who had made a false claim regarding the coronavirus death statistics. But it might be too little, too late.
Social Media platforms often stir controversies like this by implement rabbit hole algorithms. That is to say, they suggest you content that incites reactions leading to more activity on their platform. If you do a quick search on Facebook about QAnon a day before, the following day you will get a list of QAnon pages in your suggestion. You don’t have to be Sherlock to deduce how QAnon went viral so fast.
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