What is QAnon?
QAnon, or Q, is a disproven and discredited far-right conspiracy theory claiming that a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibalistic pedophiles within the “deep state” are running a global child sex-trafficking ring. QAnon commonly asserts that former U.S. President Donald Trump is planning a day of reckoning known as the “storm” when thousands of members of the top-secret cabal will be arrested. QAnon supporters have accused many liberal Hollywood actors, Democratic politicians, and high-ranking government officials of being members of this elite and secretive cabal.
What started as a fringe following of online “drops” or “clues” from the mysterious “Q” has become a mainstream following resulting in real-world violence. The most recent being the significant number of “Q” supporters participating in the insurrection at the U.S. Capital on January 6, 2021.
QAnon followers are known for an unwavering mistrust of mainstream media and “elites.” They justify their combative or isolative behavior believing they are attempting to save the vulnerable from the machinations of the “deep state.” QAnon followers are seduced by a sense of purpose and belonging as they participate in their righteous battle against evil.
In recent weeks QAnon-specific groups have been banned or censored from a number of social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, TikTok) in an attempt by tech companies to quash misinformation and violence. Although there has been some fracturing among followers after the “storm” of arrests failed to materialize at the end of Trumps presidential term, there is still significant threat of followers being radicalized to violence, especially towards those seen as elite or governmental powers.
What should I do?
– Be on the lookout for Q paraphernalia (“Q”, ww1wwa), propaganda and support for Q-sympathetic messages among employees, customers and partners for assessment.
– Keep a pulse on QAnon activities and local sentiment towards government oversight.
-Think critically about information received online. Check your information’s source and do a gut check when something doesn’t sound right.