In 2017 an anonymous user, “Q”, started posting a series of “predictions” on a messaging board called 4chan. Q predicted the arrest of Hillary Clinton and a nationwide uproar. While Clinton was not arrested, Q continued to post riddles and predictions. “Find the reflection inside the castle,” is one example of his riddles. The posts are known as “Q drops” or “breadcrumbs” written in slogans, pledges and pro-Trump memes.
The name QAnon was taken from the U.S. Clearance level, “Q” which grants access to classified information, nuclear-weapons design and other sensitive material.
This movement purports the theory that President Donald Trump is planning a secret war against Satan-worshipping paedophiles in government, business, and media. 2 It promotes President Trump and depicts Democrats as child abusers. Followers believe that the secret war will end in a “day of reckoning” where prominent individuals like Hillary Clinton will be arrested and executed. They create predictions by combining news, history and numerology.
A reasonable person would dismiss the movement as fringe. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Thousands believe and promote QAnon on mainstream social media like Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and Youtube. Based on the number of people posting, it is safe to assume that hundreds of thousands of people are proud followers of QAnon. Even when events prove predictions wrong, followers refuse to believe Q is wrong. For example, QAnon supporters claimed that the investigation into Russian interference in the elections was only a cover up for an investigation into paedophiles.
Threats have expanded from being directed online against celebrities, journalists and politicians, even to prominent politicians. In a recent interview Hillary Clinton said, “I just get under their skin unlike anybody else … If I didn’t have Secret Service protection going through my mail, finding weird stuff, tracking the threats against me—which are still very high—I would be worried.”
When asked about QAnon, Trump said that he was not too familiar with the movement, but appreciated the support from its supporters. “I don’t know much about the movement other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” he said during a briefing. QAnon followers have fueled conspiracies surrounding the virus, the Black Lives Matter movement, and vaccines. But none of these theories are rooted in fact. Trump reaffirmed that he had no knowledge of this and focussed on their praise of him.
More supporters for the movement means more support for Trump and his alleged plans to wage war against those involved in street crimes. Many QAnon supporters are also running for office. For example, Marjorie Taylor Greene praised Q as a patriot and said that it was “something worth listening to and paying attention to.” Jo Rae Perkins, winner of the Republican nomination for US Senate in Oregon, showed his support for QAnon, using their catchphrase: “Where we go one, we go all. I stand with President Trump. I stand with Q and the team. Thank you Anons and thank you patriots — and together we can save our republic.” Other Republicans such as Lauren Boebert, Mike Cargile, Theresa Raborn, Erin Cruiz have shown their support.
BY: Suzann Abraham
Suzann Abraham is a journalist for Youth In Politics She is an International Baccalaureate aspiring to be a lawyer or businesswoman in the future. She is passionate about human rights, global crises, and geopolitics. She believes that the simplest way to express an opinion that is unbiased or offensive is through writing. Her hobbies include reading, writing, and painting.