We still need to pay attention to QAnon

We still need to pay attention to QAnon

Followers of the popular conspiracy theory are still present online even though they try to blend in and their slogans are less explicit, research reveals

(photo: Rick Loomis / Getty Images) What happened to QAnon? The conspiracy theory, according to which a large part of the American ruling class is part of a sect of Satanist pedophiles against which former President Donald Trump is allegedly fighting a secret battle in the name of good, is no longer as present on social media as in recent months. However, it is still early to decree the end, according to experts, even if Q has not been heard since December 2020.

Many accounts and groups had been banned on the main social networks last year before the presidential elections in the United States, but this crackdown may have come too late. The ideas of those who believe in Q "have cemented their place and are now part of American folklore," said Max Rizzuto, a researcher with the Atlantic Council's Digital Forsensic Research Lab. "I don't think we'll ever see it disappear."

QAnon is a phenomenon that has grown over the last four years and from a few enigmatic messages posted by an anonymous on 4chan and 8chan has come to radicalize hundreds of thousands of people in Worldwide. A March poll by the Public Religion Research Institute and the Interfaith Youth Core (PRRI), currently some 30 million Americans think Q's theories are partly if not fully founded.

However, after the spikes in Late summer 2020 and briefly on January 6, QAnon's slogans largely disappeared from traditional sites, researchers at DfrLabs found who tracked 40 million social interactions this spring.

Now online it is difficult to find groups or channels on large platforms that explicitly refer to this mega conspiracy theory. According to the researchers, however, his followers are still there and are trying to blend in by making their topics more attractive and in part have migrated to smaller and less controlled social networks such as Gab and Parler.

“There was one very, very explicit effort within the QAnon community to disguise their own language, ”said Angelo Carusone, president and CEO of Media Matters, a research group that has followed the rise of QAnon.

QAnon now understands an even greater variety of conspiracy theories and has tied itself to anti-vaccine groups and those who believe the November 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.

Recently, US federal intelligence officials they warned that QAnon adherents could become more violent and return to committing actions such as the deadly Capitol uprising on January 6. It should also be remembered that a QAnon supporter was elected to Congress.

Facebook said it removed approximately 3,300 pages, 10,500 groups, 510 events, 18,300 profiles and 27,300 Instagram accounts for violating its policy against QAnon, while Twitter has stated that it has suspended 150 thousand accounts of this type to date. However, the opinion of many experts is that these measures were taken late, when many people had now fallen into the QAnon t rappola.

“If there ever was a time for a social media company to take a position on the contents of QAnon, it would have been years ago ”, said Rizzuto.

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US Presidential Conspiracy 2020 globalData.fldTopic = "Conspiracy, US Presidential 2020 "

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