QAnon goes mainstream

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by JFDee, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    Didn't find a better place for this ...

    Washington Post article today:
  2. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Another media notation of something like q anon, is like the popular expression... "any press is good press".
    I suspect that the biggest unfortunate gain here, is the re-mentioning of an older conspiracy, and making it more popular once again..
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  3. Marin B

    Marin B Active Member

    Wish I could say that I wasn't familiar with the Q anon theories... but I guess that belongs in the "What to do when family members believe in bunk?" thread.

    The linked article has a nice summary of the topic of conversation at more than one family dinner :

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  4. qed

    qed Senior Member

    Trump weighs in conspiratorially: "It's the calm before the storm." (1:05)

  5. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    That's from last year. He's not referring to any conspiracy theory, that's the comment that started the whole "storm" QAnon theory.
    It's doubtful he mean anything more than a vague threat of military action against Iran and/or North Korea. But the Q folk interpreted it as foretelling the rounding up of a demonic pedophile ring that had corrupted the highest levels of government.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2018
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  6. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    A follow-up opinion piece by the WaPo today. I'm beginning to worry a bit.

  7. Marin B

    Marin B Active Member

    I just did a Google news search - a lot of articles today about it:
  8. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member 5-y&q="conspiracy theory",qanon,chemtrails
    Metabunk 2018-08-02 15-21-57.

    And finer grained:
    Metabunk 2018-08-02 15-23-27.

    I'd hope that sunlight will be a disinfectant here. It's very interesting in that it's a conspiracy theory about the future as much as the past, so it makes predictions which will not pan out (except in the "oh, so that's what he meant by 'the eagle poops at midnight'" sense of back-fitting). So it's forced to mutate - eventually it will fade away, ossifying into a more traditional theory about the past.

    People are already done stupid things though, so it's likely that will continue for a while.

    I should have put more QAnon in my book — I just make a passing mention.
  9. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    Something useful that most articles leave out, and I've seen confusion here and elsewhere on the internet. For example, Deirdre posted in a closed thread (I thought this was recent but is actually about six months old):
    A lot of articles mention that 4chan is anonymous, some specifically that it has no user accounts or authentication. The way the rest of the internet works, accounts and two factor authentication are how unique users are identified, so a lot of people assume this cannot be done on imageboards.

    However, users are not without means of identifying themselves. You can sign your post with a name, but then, anyone else can just use the same name, too.

    The identifying feature is a tripcode. You can (optionally) include a hashtagged "password" to sign your posts, and the imageboard translates this to a non-reversible hash called a tripcode to display to users, so you cannot be impersonated successfully without this hashtag password.

    Example, if I were to post and use Hevach#bannana, users would see "Hevach!5RRtZawAKg." If somebody else posted as Hevach!4D9rkjJjik users could tell they were not the same person as me (of course, I used #bannana, the example in just about every single FAQ on the subject, in reality I'd use a proper secure password).

    There is a recognized "genuine" Q tripcode, not just anyone can post some cryptic baloney and be accepted as Q. So there is one person (or a group who has shared a password among themselves) behind the posts, not just a random mass of trolls.
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  10. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Presumably the 4chan admins could fake some posts though.

    Is QAnon76 considered to be the same person?
  11. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    I do know a former 4chan admin I used to work with, he actually got kicked off by other admins because he habitually mass-banned everybody in pizzagate threads. I'll have to ask him if it's possible for admins to fake or change a tripcode.
    Seems to be, but there's no consolidated list of "authentic" Q sources in the sane portion of the internet and I've already got too much of a migraine to dig into the kind of places one might be found.
  12. Auldy

    Auldy Senior Member

    Far out.

    Tuchman: "There hasn't been any evidence"
    Lady 2: "There hasn't been any non-evidence"

  13. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    I mean, there has been, but...

    I've been reading more on this after a gaming forum I'm on had a mass banning of invading Q trolls, and a few bits don't make sense.

    QAnon gets his name from having Q level clearance. Q clearance is technically he broadest clearance in the US government, but it is a strictly Department of Energy clearance dealing with nuclear secrets.

    "Need to know," always applies with classified material, hence why people with clearance are strongly warned about viewing classified leaks, because even if it's in their clearance level it's outside what they're allowed to see.

    Only the President, or someone being directly enabled by the President, can simply view any classified material they want, and this requires no clearance because the President has ultimate authority on classification - hence why the White House defended Trump revealing secrets to foreign nationals in early 2017, he technically is allowed to while nobody else is. Someone with Q clearance would only have access to criminal secrets that relate to their job, which by definition of the clearance is nuclear secrets.

    Another important point is Adrenochrome extraction from the victims of the pedovores (they don't just molest, they kill and eat the kids). Adrenochrome is the oxidized leftovers after adrenaline is used up. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and Clockwork Orange both reference it being used as a drug, but actual research found it had no significant psychoactive effects.

    An adrenochrone derivative is used as an antihemorrhagic drug, and excessive adrenochrone in the blood has been linked to schizophrenia, but there is positive evidence that it's useless as a recreational drug.

    This is a mind boggling theory. The "source" provides the vaguest nothings, which the community calls crumbs. The community "bakes" these crumbs into very specific and complex truths ("bread"), which then leads people to scour the desert around Tuscon for clues, or stand outside the office of a racecar driver turned lawyer with a sandwitch board, or shoot up a pizza store in DC, or stage a sit in at a comic book store in Tempe...
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
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  14. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    Intetesting. The Qanon movement has reached critical mass I think. It is a force to contend with. It may be criticized as being unusual, fringe, etc. but will have impact.

    The midterm elections I think will see the Q factor felt by both parties.
  15. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    I disagree completely. It has been mentioned in the news and that's kind of it. This is where the pizzagate believers ended up. They weren't a major factor in the last election.
  16. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    Yeah, Q's kind of worrying on a certain level - having believers interfering with businesses will eventually end up in violence the way pizzagate did. On an electoral level, if it's going to be felt, it's going to be felt in townhall events where any crank off the street can get a venue to bombard candidates with questions, but in the vote?

    The Congressional primaries are going on right now, and more than any other season in the US political calendar that's where you see candidates kow towing with all kinds of fringe whackadoodles. When the vote is limited to just a single party within a narrow district, a couple local fringe groups can be a make-or-break demographic. Once through to the general, most of these fringe groups can be counted on to vote for their team or not vote, they'll never be driven so far away as to cross lines and vote against you.

    If this group isn't being felt now, they're not going to be felt in the general election.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2018
  17. David Ridlen

    David Ridlen Member

    "Qanon" is now passing "flat earth" as the most popular conspiracy hypothesis. earth,Qanon

    If you assume it will die down soon, it might, but I assumed that about flat earth three years ago, that only continued to drastically increase in popularity. Flat Earth searches finally started dropping in May 2018.
  18. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

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  19. David Ridlen

    David Ridlen Member

    Yes. But do you know of a more accurate way to gauge the popularity of conspiracy theories, than the most popular conspiracy search term on the most popular search engine? Practically speaking, how might this not be a fair assessment?

    My point is to distinguish the significance of a trend for debunkers to be aware of.
  20. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    Anyone who wanted to know what QAnon is would use it for a search term. It doesn't mean they believe it. A better way would be to measure how many people believe it.
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  21. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    Who, Where and How would you ask that?
  22. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member

    News organizations do this all the time. You can find polls on how many people believe 9/11 was done by the government for example. The fact that it hasn't been done yet for this should tell you everything you need to know.
    reports that dozens of Qanon supporters were in attendance at two recent rallies. That's less than a hundred at each.
  23. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    when I googled "what is q clearance" I got a 1986 novel by Peter Benchley
    Coincidence? I think not ;)

    Although if I was posing as a speechwriter I would get the internet to use the term "Q-tips" for my clues.
  24. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    You have to distinguish between the popularity of a conspiracy theory in terms of interest in that theory and belief in that theory. Flat Earth is NOT a popular theory in terms of believers. It probably only less than 1% of a popular broad theory like "9/11 was an inside job."

    But I would not be at all surprised if QAnon was more popular than Flat Earth in terms of believers. I first heard about it from one of the more technical 9/11 Truthers who used to post here. I think it has broad appeal to conspiracy theorists of all stripes so it will tend to rope in everyone from "Seth Rich was killed by the DNC", to "The Queen is a reptile". It's a hopeful entertaining fantasy that does not conflict with their conspiratorial world view.
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  25. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    I agree Mick. It has a broad appeal.
  26. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    But largely temporary. It's rooted in the events of the day. When it becomes increasingly clear that the underlying theory (Trump was put in power by the military to counter a deep state coup run by pedophiles and he is dropping clues on 4chan to give people hope) does not pan out, it will just mutate and fade away into a niche. I'm sure there's some people that still think that Jade Helm was a NWO takeover plot, but it's not something you hear about any more.
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  27. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

  28. George B

    George B Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member

    What if there is confirmation of some of the claims; as in a larger than normal number of arrests regarding child trafficking, for example?
  29. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    That's a bit vague. Those arrests tend to come in waves when rings are busted.
    And what exactly has QAnon claimed "there will be a larger than normal number of arrests regarding child trafficking some time in the future"? That's kind of like predicting a 6.0 earthquake in California in the next few years.

    Given the vague nature of the pronouncements then you can always claim something "came true". There were predictions of the elite being arrested, and when some of the elite hurt their ankles that was taken as proof of this.


    QAnon obviously contains a vast amount of nonsense, but the wishful thinking of conspiracy theorists allows them to see past that and hold out hope for a grain of truth. It will fade, just like Jade Helm did.
  30. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    1. you would have to find actual numbers over the years.
    1a. its hard to find numbers that separate "human trafficking" from "child trafficking".

    2. you need to adjust those numbers for population inflation ie. are victims rising in numbers.

    3. Even if you find the numbers in 201 slightly were larger than 2016, you still don't really know if they just finally decided to crack down more. Police do those kinds of things all the time. NY city at some point finally said "ok enough is enough, we need to start seriously cracking down on violent crime", so they did.
    3a. so..what is considered "larger than normal"?
  31. Keith Beachy

    Keith Beachy Active Member

    A conspiracy of capitalism mixed with deep state gullible paranoia - t-shirts 20 bucks

    T-Shirts, some marketed under the name, 'Funny Russian Bot Gifts by KNUXX'. More from

    Making some money from a conspiracy theory. Some CT comments found in verified purchase Amazon reviews.

    "Made in Honduras. Q does not sell any products, so get em where you can."
    "This shirt lets them know you picked the red pill and not the blue one."
    "Q to save the world"
    "I love this hat. I've bought several and keep giving them away as I "red-pill" people with it Lol. As things have evolved, I have a style change suggestion. The MAGA under the Q is great, but I'd like to have one with WWG1WGA in the killbox. I think it would inspire more questions and result in more red-pilling! Thanks!"
  32. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    Someone had mentioned increased number of arrests for child trafficking. I'm not going into huge detail of the Bureau of Justice Statistics numbers, but for outside readers I'd like to point out that Obama's 2015 government (republican control of congress) passed the
    S.178 - Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015

    So if arrest numbers are rising (even though they had been rising even before the law was passed) it is due to funding established prior to Trump.
  33. Hevach

    Hevach Senior Member

    You also see isolated spikes in arrests for this kind of crime just like drugs or adult human trafficking or gangs or wire fraud. You get the right person in the organization and they drag down their whole chain. So year to year changes aren't enough to establish a trend.
  34. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    there is also a difference between arrests and convictions. According to the White House website, they had less convictions in 2017 than they did in 2015.

    and the fake meme
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  35. David Ridlen

    David Ridlen Member

    Not really. My initial post stated "popular conspiracy hypothesis" which includes interest and belief. I think the clarity of my point may be nitpicked, when it is really understood well enough.

    Based on what?

    I maintain that a Google trend is a fair gauge for the popularity of a conspiracy theory. Do you know of a more accurate survey?

    Polls tend to be taken from relatively small groups. Stats indicate that nearly half the world population uses the internet daily. And 75% of searches are thru Google. 2013 stats show that number to be about 1.17 billion Google searches. I do not see a way to compare the actual number of specific search terms.

    But Google Trends shows that "flat earth" far outstrips 9-11 conspiracy in search popularity.,/m/043yvr,/m/07vxlr,9/11 was an inside job


    All these conspiracy hypothesis mentioned do fall under what is certainly the broadest conspiracy belief in a nefarious "they" controlling everything, that must be a comforting focus for those who may feel understandably confused and helpless in such a technically and politically complex world.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2018
  36. Landru

    Landru Moderator Staff Member


    By that reasoning suicide is more popular than QAnon.
  37. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Based on my observations of 9/11 groups and Flat Earth groups. All Flat Earthers are 9/11 Inside Jobbers. But I've yet to see a 9/11 Truth group member who will admit to being at Flat Earther.

    1% might have been low though,

    Yeah, actual surveys. Google Trends tells you how many people are searching for something.
    Metabunk 2018-08-07 20-39-01.

    No QAnon surveys yet unfortunately. But if you were to back-fit that to the Google Trends, than that implies something like 1% of people might have some belief in the validity of QAnon.
  38. Rory

    Rory Senior Member

    Maybe people aren't searching for 9/11 as much anymore 'cos they've already made up their minds about it some time ago and don't need any new info.

    And maybe Mick meant that it's more likely the average Joe in the street will believe in something like a 9/11 inside job because that doesn't take much investment, just a general suspicion, whereas flat earth most likely requires a little more input, and a larger shift from mainstream thought patterns.

    That's what I understand by "broad appeal" versus "niche".
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  39. qed

    qed Senior Member

    It is, surely?
  40. JFDee

    JFDee Senior Member

    A QAnon promoter has visited the White House.
    The Washington Post writes:
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 26, 2018
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