For all the deranged conspiracy theories to gain steam within these past four years, from 5G towers causing COVID-19 to Pizzagate, no conspiracy has caught traction quite like QAnon. (Pronounced "duh-m fuh-k")
QAnon is so loosely defined that it feels more like a religion or an ideology or a psychotic break from reality than an actual theory, but I'll try my best to wrangle it into some sort of coherence. It basically alleges that President Donald Trump is in a secret war with Hollywood elites and the "deep state" and is attempting to stop them from running a child trafficking ring and doing various other crimes that mostly relate to pedophilia. To say there are holes in this "theory" is to say there's some empty space between Earth and Pluto, but I'm not here to further tell you why this thing is dumb. There are plenty of resources for that.
So who got the ball really rolling on this bullshit? According to NBC News, QAnon nonsense took off with three random assholes. See, QAnon originated on 4chan, which is like the cradle of life for conspiracy theories. Various anonymous users, known as "Anon," will sometimes claim to have "special government access" and share their insider knowledge with the worthy acolytes of 4chan. It's usually just trolls throwing shit at the wall hoping for something to stick long enough to get a couple memes out of it, but the QAnon originator, named "Q" (whose identity is still unknown), had a particularly compelling message.
Or not really. As NBC News reported:
"Qanon was just another unremarkable part of the "anon" genre until November 2017, when two moderators of the 4chan board where Q posted predictions, who went by the usernames Pamphlet Anon and BaruchtheScribe, reached out to Tracy Diaz, according to Diaz's blogs and YouTube videos. BaruchtheScribe, in reality a self-identified web programmer from South Africa named Paul Furber, confirmed that account to NBC News."
It was allegedly just two mods, one not even American, that pushed QAnon into the mainstream because it just seemed to jive with them, we guess. Tracy Diaz, who had already gathered a sizeable audience making videos about Wikileaks, picked it up on her channel and further pushed it. In a blog post, she admits that their goal was to build a following for QAnon in the hopes that it would mean larger followings for themselves as well.
I wish it were more complicated. I wish we as a people weren't so dumb as to fall for a grift by three online trolls. But then again, the guy from this video is president:
We should expect anything at this point.
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