Followers of the popular conspiracy theory are still present online even as they try to blend in and their slogans are less explicit, research reveals
What happened to QAnon? The conspiracy theory, according to which a large part of the American ruling class is part of one sect of pedophiles Satanists against whom former President Donald Trump would be fighting a secret battle in the name of good, is no longer as present on social media as in recent months. It is though still early to decree its end, according to experts, even if Q has not been heard since December 2020.
Many accounts and groups were banned on major social media last year before the US presidential election, but this crackdown may have come though. too late. The ideas of those who believe in Q “Have cemented their place and are now part of the american folklore“, he has declared Max Rizzuto, a researcher with the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forsensic Research Lab. “I don’t think we’ll ever see him 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 around the world. A survey of March of the Public religion research institute and the interfaith youth core (Prri), currently approx 30 million Americans they think that Q’s theories are partly if not fully founded.
However, after peaks in late summer 2020 and briefly on January 6, slogans of QAnon have largely disappeared from traditional sites, researchers at DfrLabs discovered 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 making their topics more attractive and in part they have migrated to smaller and less controlled social networks such as Gab and Parler.
“There was a lot of effort, very explicit within the QAnon community to disguise their 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 linked itself to groups against vaccines and to those who believe that the November 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.
Recently, US federal intelligence officials they warned that QAnon adherents could become more violent and go back to committing actions like the deadly Capitol uprising on January 6. It should also be remembered that a QAnon supporter was elected to Congress.
Meanwhile, Facebook claimed to have 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 said it had suspended 150,000 such accounts to date. The opinion of many experts, however, is that these measures were taken late, when many people had now fallen into trappola by QAnon.
“If there was ever a time for a social media company to take a stand on QAnon’s content, it would have been Years ago”, Said Rizzuto.