Friday, August 14, 2020

QAnon Booms on Facebook as Conspiracy Group Gains Mainstream Traction -- WSJ

While visiting my family for the holidays in 2016, I remember mentioning the "pizzagate" shooting in Washington to my parents and being horrified but not really surprised when they looked at me like I was crazy. They had no idea what I was talking about.

Four years later, the Wall Street Journal reports that groups espousing conspiracy theories associated with QAnon have exploded in popularity on Facebook and Instagram since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, and its believers are being elected to Congress.

WSJ politely describes QAnon this way, leaving out any mention of drinking children's blood and Satan worship:
QAnon stems from a conspiracy theory started by a person who claimed to be a highly placed government official dubbed Q, who first emerged in the fall of 2017 on the fringe site 4chan. According to Q, a powerful group of child traffickers control the world and is undermining President Trump with the help of other elites and mainstream news outlets. Believers regard Mr. Trump as a messianic figure fighting against these dark forces.

In 2016, a man was arrested with a gun inside a Washington, D.C., pizza restaurant that had been at the center of a conspiracy theory known as Pizzagate, which is considered a precursor to QAnon. Comet Ping Pong was the subject of fake-news stories falsely alleging that it was the site of a child-abuse ring run by Hillary Clinton and her campaign chief, John Podesta.

In the years since, Mr. Trump, members of his family and others, such as former national security adviser Michael Flynn, have sometimes retweeted popular Twitter accounts that use QAnon slogans or promote QAnon theories.
An arsonist set a fire in the restaurant in January 2019.

My question is this: Even if leadership changes at the beginning of the year, is there any coming back from this as a society?



Tim said...

some QANON believers come from the ranks of other standard conspiracy theories like the "ChemTrails" believers and those who believe the world is run by a large group of lizard people who live underground and will emerge at some point in the future to save the world from itself. Think the old TV series "V", except with benevolent reptiles.

JP Aragon said...

The pandemic has revealed an incredible amount of ignorance and mental illness in this country.

Stephen said...

No coming back. That horse has left the stable and is hundreds of miles away. We are all fuct! Enjoy life NOW.

barryearle said...

No. But like the Tea Party, in time it will fade if not completely disappear. As the Good Book says, "All things will pass." So will Qanon.