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Meet QAnon: The Internet's New Experiment in Gullibility

Robert Franklin

Posted on August 1, 2018 10:40

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At President Trump's July 31 rally in Tampa, t-shirts and signs expressing support for "Q" sprinkled the crowd, endorsed by scores of men and women who believe that President Trump is fighting the "Deep State," liberal celebrities are secretly pedophiles, and that the "storm" President Trump once referenced on Twitter is coming.

If you watched President Trump's Tampa rally last night, you probably noticed the letter "Q" show up more often than one would think it should. "Q" appeared on t-shirts and handmade signs, showing the President, attendees and the media covering the event that they were aware of the coming "storm" and were preparing themselves for its eventual "arrival."

The men and women in attendance flaunting the letter "Q" are part of QAnon, a new(-ish) fringe belief gaining steam with the conspiratorial American right-wing, described by The Guardian's Julia Carrie Wong as "a volatile mix of Pizzagate, Infowars and the Satanic Panic of the 1980s, multiplied by the power of the internet and with an extra boost from a handful of conservative celebrities."

QAnon centers around an anonymous figure called "Q," who I have on good authority is not John de Lancie. "Q" claims to be a government insider working on behalf of President Trump to topple the alleged "Deep State." Further, "Q" justifies his posts by asserting he/she possess top security clearance (since no crackpot conspiracy theory is worth a damn without that), which has apparently provides him/her with the information necessary to leave little clues (or "breadcrumbs") for people (or "simpletons") on 8chan (or "Jim Watkins' Chancroid Lesion").

It all seems.. well... too good to be true, right? A single person, claiming to be instrumental in the process of toppling the very institutions that are at the center of conservative outrage, is taking to one of the Internet's most disgusting snake pits to bring a message to the people that their fact-deficient theories on the state of the world are totally valid. I mean, it must be so wonderful that reality perfectly conforms to a fantasy world that justifies the latent bigotry and faux-"woke"-ness of conservative conspiracy theorists.

While it may seem easy to just write QAnon off as a another package of alt-right fantasy, let us not forget that Pizzagate was a thing and while it was also a package of alt-right fantasy, it had real world consequences.

Robert Franklin

Posted on August 1, 2018 10:40

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Source: Politico
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