Have your heard of #SaveTheChildren? And the US election results.
Are these three related?
That’s what we’ll be exploring today.
QAnon is a very bold conspiracy theory which claims that a group of Satan-worshipping pedophiles is running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotting against US President Donald Trump, who is trying to break this group and fight against their wrongdoings.
The theory also commonly asserts that Trump is planning a day of reckoning known as "The Storm", when thousands of members of the cabal will be arrested. Why do they say so? Estimates, far-fetched hypotheses and conjectures.
People have even drawn parallels between QAnon and Pizzagate.
The QAnon theory began with an October 2017 post on the anonymous imageboard 4chan by "Q", who was presumably a single American individual, with a “Q” degree (Highest) security clearance. From there it spread like wildfire. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. Alternate hashtags like #WWG1WGA (Where We Go One, We Go All) started trending.
Closed Facebook groups were crucial in spreading such misinformation. Then came the pandemic. People now had loads of free time on their hands and time to read and believe in such conspiracy theories. In just a period of 3-4 months, membership of these groups jumped from under 50,000 to over 3,000,000 members and followers.
Facebook now took action.
QAnon groups were banned. But this didn’t stop the conspiracy. They did an elaborate rebranding for themselves.
Comes here, #SaveTheChildren, a hashtag being used by a charity to raise money for trafficked children.
QAnon followers bombarded this hashtag and hundreds of groups were created, with high following individuals backing the hashtag. Although some sources state that only around 200 children go missing in the US every year, vastly different from the oft stated 800,000 figure, misinformation is not the end of the story.
Some researchers identified a strong statistical correlation between state polls that underestimated Trump's chances and a higher-than-average volume of QAnon activity in those states, including Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio. This was supported by the fact that Trump had amplified QAnon messaging at least 258 times by retweeting or mentioning 150 Twitter accounts affiliated with QAnon, sometimes multiple times a day. QAnon followers came to refer to Trump as "Q+".
Another study claimed that this link was a falsely advertised one.
So was this all just political propaganda to win elections? Now that elections are over will QAnon die?
We cannot comment on this as of now, because the group still maintains a high active following. So let us wait and watch what happens next!