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A phenomenon deadlier than the pandemic: The QAnon Conspiracy



QAnon, the baseless conspiracy theory that has gone through countless preposterous renditions since it emerged from the depths of 4chan forums in 2017, is getting more widespread and mainstream. Once dismissed as a harmless US conspiracy theory, its rapid sweeping influence is becoming more alarming as it went international, especially after Trump seems to approve of it. 

We can see its impact at anti-lockdown and anti-mask rallies from different parts of the world, such as Los Angeles, Britain, Berlin, and Melbourne—with protesters claiming that the pandemic is just a conspiracy established by a Satanist cult of pedophiles who control the world.

The influence of QAnon has increased sharply during the pandemic—adding conspiracy theories about vaccines, 5G network, and far-right politics to its core principles. 

“In some ways, the pandemic has created the perfect storm for conspiracy theories like QAnon to grow,” as stated by Mackenzie Hart, a disinformation researcher at the London-based ISD think tank.

“Not only are people stuck inside and spending more time online, but people are scared. When people are scared, conspiracy theories provide easy answers,” Hart added.

ISD’s analysis of QAnon-related posts on major social media platforms showed alarming growth between March and June this year—nearly 175% on Facebook, 77.1% on Instagram, and 63.7% on Twitter.

Trump Versus Satanic Cult?

The QAnon movement is based on cryptic posts that emerged from anonymous messaging board 4chan in October 2017—later moving to 8kun by some user named “Q Clearance Patriot”—who claims to hold access to classified information an American Intelligence Official.

Q claimed that Donald Trump is waging war against the ruling elite and Satanic pedophile cults. The FBI has identified QAnon as among several conspiracy theories that could potentially lead to extremist violence.

“I don’t know much about the movement, other than I understand they like me very much, which I appreciate,” Trump said in August, describing QAnon followers as “people who love our country.”

An Imminent Threat

Experts warned that QAnon poses a serious threat against the efforts to neutralize the pandemic by eroding trust in the medical field, particularly in the immunization program.

“What we’re seeing is a globalization of the anti-vaccine movement, the anti-science movement,” said Peter Hotez, a vaccine scientist at the Baylor School of Medicine.

“That would be an incredible threat to public health.”

Jinel Franco is a Multi-Media Artist and a Content Marketing Strategist. For the past 3 years, she has helped several companies and individuals bring out the best of their brand with quality content and media.

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