Q first appeared on October 28, 2017. It was not yet a year after Donald Trump’s election. In the dark anonymous forum 4chan a user whose alias consisted only of that letter replied to a message announcing the alleged arrest of Hillary Clinton. It will be “between 7.45 and 8.30am on Monday, October 30,” it said. YQ responded in more detail: “The extradition of HRC [Hillary Rodham Clinton] It is already in effect yesterday with several countries in case of flight over the border. Passport approved to be signaled on 10/30 at 12:01 am. Expect massive unrest to occur in response and others fleeing the US Marines will lead the operation while National Guard is activated. “
This concise, movie-like, cryptic tone became one of the keys to his success. “Where is Huma [Abedin, asesora de Clinton]? Follow Huma. This has nothing to do with Russia (yet). Why does Trump surround himself with generals? What is military intelligence? ”He wrote in his second message. These mysterious questions and disconnected phrases were the origin of a movement that has gone from wielding a bizarre conspiracy theory associated with Trump supporters, to becoming a huge cesspool where anti-vaccines, anti-Semites, anti-media and livelihoods come together … something that would be incomprehensible without the existence of the Internet. Last Tuesday, almost three years after its first message, Twitter decided to suspend thousands of accounts linked to this group on the grounds that their messages can lead to violence.
QAnon’s name comes from Q’s anonymity. This alleged federal employee was not the first to post details of his work on 4chan. Before, users such as CIAAnon or FBIAnon had done it. But Q, for some reason, got more attention. In the Department of Energy, linked to nuclear programs, the highest level of access is called precisely Q. It is also a particularly mysterious letter in English. A few days after the first post, YouTube videos and Reddit forums created by people who apparently might have to see with the creation of Q, they popularized their messages. There are followers who pay “to help” researchers or buy T-shirts. It is also a good deal. These are three keys to better understand QAnon.
1. Pizzagate, original sin
During the 2016 election campaign, a Russian operation leaked the emails of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign manager. In addition to banalities and some of the usual political cynicism, anonymous people analyzed each message in search of clues or crimes. It seemed to someone that the food emails appeared to use code language that concealed terrible sexual practices. Podesta spoke of “cheese pizza”, that is, “cp”, that is, “child pornography”. He also spoke often of a pizzeria in a wealthy Washington neighborhood, Comet Ping Pong.
The association was woven and suddenly the conclusion was reached that in the basement of that pizzeria someone ran a children’s brothel for the rich and powerful. In December, a month after the election, a 28-year-old got up on a Sunday in a North Carolina town, drove more than 500 kilometers to the capital, picked up his automatic rifle and entered Comet Ping Pong, full of families. with children. He went to open a closed door, opened it with a shot and there, instead of gagged babies, he found the typical warehouse of a restaurant. It was delivered after admitting that “intelligence was not 100% reliable.” He was sentenced to four years in prison. How did you find out about everything? “I had just put the Internet at home,” he told The New York Times.
This chapter is important because child trafficking for the benefit of a group of powerful people who run the world from a secret office, who order the media and politicians what to say and from which Donald Trump and a select group of soldiers want to free us, is the ideological basis of QAnon. The powerful hide cures for disease, create pandemics, and fight free beings like Trump. If it looks like a movie, it is because it is. QAnon’s motto, “Where one goes, we all go” (WWG1WGA, by its initials in English), comes from the film White storm, by Ridley Scott from 1996. Another central expression also comes from the same film: “The calm before the storm.”
2. Trump launches a mysterious message
In this world where every gesture or phrase is a hidden message, Trump launched a perfect phrase in 2017. It was in the photo session of an act with the military at the White House. The president of the United States told the photographers: “Do you know what this could be? The calm before the storm”. Some attendant yelled, “What storm, sir?” And Trump replied: “You will see.” In the field of conspiracies this phrase borders on perfection.
That storm has been understood as the day when mass arrests, very summary trials and perhaps executions will arrive. The day of the “great awakening” – another key concept of QAnon – where we will all find out who was really right. In this movie world and well distributed, those already initiated would be the “red pastilleados” (redpilled, in English). It is an expression from the movie Matrix where whoever takes the red pill is able to see “the truth”. This concept is also used outside of QAnon, for example for men who “finally” have understood how bad all women are.
3. The ‘boomers’ researchers
Since October 2017, Q has released more than 3,000 “depositions.” The english word drop It is the same that is used when an agent in Washington “drops” a package of secret documents in some hidden park for a Russian official to pick it up. Those “depositions” must be interpreted. There are thousands of Twitter accounts, YouTube videos, and blogs and vlogs intended to comment on each sentence. The goal is for everyone to do their research to discover signs and the truth.
According to QAnon, for example, a yellow Trump tie during the pandemic can mean that everything is false because the yellow maritime flags indicate that a ship is not infected. Or the lure of the letter Q in presidential tweets: “I am giving consideration to a QUARANTINE,” for example. If you take away everything that is “left over”, it remains “I am … Q”. That the always anonymous Q is Trump is a very present option in these theories.
One of the comments that is made of Q is that it is a LARP, an acronym in English for role-playing game in real life. His followers would assume the facets of saviors. If that were so, if it were all a game for boring old people in an Arkansas or Indiana town who wants to believe in something entertaining, why are they paid so much attention? Why do the media and the FBI believe that Are they a danger? Are they the same in reality?
Community platform Reddit banned QAnon in 2018. Now it’s Twitter’s turn. Facebook and YouTube are considering it. It is a very complicated decision. Twitter’s move comes days after QAnon’s followers threatened model Chrissy Teigen. Her turn has come after Tom Hanks and Lady Gaga because, according to them, Hollywood is also involved in the pedophile ring, which in turn is linked to Jeffrey Epstein. His arrest and suicide is one of the great moments where QAnon and reality have come closer.
Twitter will not promote your hashtags or your accounts and will prohibit any coordinated activity against someone like Teigen. Also in July, they managed to get the furniture from the Wayfair chain among the trending topics (most commented topics) of the social network. Why? Because some especially expensive cabinets bore the names of apparently missing girls. Where did the screenshot of this crazy theory come from? From Reddit.
Reddit had already banned QAnon’s activity but that content is still published there because it cannot be shown that it is necessarily related to that movement. It is not any specific organization. This tweet from Jordan Sather where he says the coronavirus was fabricated is from an account with more than 180,000 followers. It’s not the only one. Twitter has been protected to prevent QAnon from using its network to harass or promote its views. It is also one more step in their desire to control what is published, which is something that will be one of the great debates these years.
But, if QAnon has shown something, it is its organizational capacity. They will use another phrase, another hashtag. They are people trained to think in code. The networks, the Internet, is their playing field. Her ability to weave connections unheard of for the rest of the citizens is infinite. Now everyone talks about QAnon. What was until recently a movement of geeks on the margins of society now makes headlines in international newspapers.