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"Q's" posts---

Uglytruth

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I worked all day yesterday. Had the radio on. News break at the top and bottom of the hour.
First time they ever talked about Qanon the conspiracy people that believe the world is run by a sex cult and baby eating pedophiles.........
They tied it into Europe and other rabbit hole things.


Needless to say I was surprised and will try to catch it again.
 

Uglytruth

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They are now trying to use family shame to drive more wedges. These are the same people telling us she was destined to win & basement sniffer, dogfaceponysoldier is leading.

https://archive.is/nXbbi

QAnon Is Running Amok, and the Time Has Come for Interventions

Family members may be the last line of defense as the amorphous online conspiracy movement attempts to break into the mainstream.

By August 8, 2020, 10:00 AM UTC


Photo illustration: 731; Photos: Getty Images

Imagine it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, the one where the entire extended family shows up. There’s a little corner of the long dinner table where you put the relatives most likely to be awkward, so they can chat among themselves. You know who they are, the uncle and cousins who go on rants about Trump’s righteous war against an international cabal of pedophiles or Hillary Clinton’s imminent arrest. Everyone else in the family remembers the stir that corner caused when they claimed that Tom Hanks had a sex slave. No one with any sense took them seriously. Picking a fight would sap your energy and divide the clan.

For the most part, social media companies have been content to treat QAnon like those relatives. (And those are actual QAnon beliefs.) None of the tech giants were really happy the amorphous online conspiracy movement was at their party, but it wasn’t worth the trouble to disinvite them. As long as they kept to their own corner of the internet, the QAnon faithful could enjoy turkey and stuffing with everyone else.

But everything has changed. In the annus horribilis of 2020, the social networks can no longer afford to treat QAnon the same way. Why? Because it’s left its corner and is messing with the rest of the table.

Memes emanating from the conspiracy group—which are tenuously united in the discredited belief that there’s a plot to oust Trump from the presidency—have made their way into the social media accounts of everyone from Michael Flynn (who was briefly national security adviser) to White House social media adviser Dan Scavino. Sometimes these memes can be as innocent as an image featuring Trump with a QAnon slogan (as was the case for Scavino), but at other times they take on more sinister overtones such as the oath to QAnon—“Where we go one, we go all”—which Flynn posted on July 4. Trump’s account has been known to retweet accounts aligned with QAnon.



An attendee displays a “We Are Q” sign before the start of a Trump rally in Lewis Center, Ohio, on Aug. 4, 2018.
Photographer: Maddie McGarvey/Bloomberg

It goes down the political chain. QAnon-sympathetic Republican candidates may be on the ballot for the Senate and the House in November, including Lauren Boebert in Colorado, Jo Rae Perkins in Oregon, and Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia (who faces an Aug. 11 runoff). It also seems to be manifesting outside the U.S. In February, in Hanau, Germany, a lone gunman espousing QAnon-like beliefs massacred nine people in bars frequented by immigrants before killing his mother and himself.

The Covid-19 pandemic has only helped the movement expand: Hundreds of thousands of people with nothing else to do have been exposed to the fringe fulminations. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a London think tank, says that from March through June, QAnon-related posts surged on Facebook and Twitter. While its believers were far from the only ones trying to discredit the use of masks or cast doubt on vaccines, they were among the largest groups.

Twitter took action on July 21, announcing measures targeting “so-called ‘QAnon’ activity” across its platform. “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm,” the company tweeted as it detailed the crackdown. Twitter is suspending accounts for breaking existing rules and will no longer highlight as “trending” or recommend content and accounts associated with QAnon. It will also try to stop the movement from being played up in search. Users will no longer be able to share URLs associated with it.

Twitter’s plan has parallels with an earlier crackdown by Reddit in 2018 after its forums became QAnon hotbeds. The most prominent subreddits associated with the movement came down, and new ones even hinting they had something to do with it could not be created. Reddit’s move is considered to be among the more significant blows against QAnon.

But the tactics so effective on Reddit in 2018 may not work for Twitter. The QAnon movement is now a very different beast from the one that used to populate now-deleted subreddits such as r/TheGreatAwakening. If Twitter no longer wants QAnon to come to Thanksgiving, the conspiracists can still put on a mustache and a hat and sneak in through the back door. There’s nothing to stop banned QAnoners from returning to engage in “digital guerrilla warfare,” says Marc-André Argentino, a researcher at Concordia University in Quebec who studies how extremist groups use online technology and co-authored a report from West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center titled “The QAnon Conspiracy Theory: A Security Threat in the Making?” All they have to do is get “a bunch of new sock puppet accounts”—camouflaged identities—to stage incursions on Twitter with fresh tweets.

For QAnon adherents, Argentino says, “Twitter is the battlefield.” A ban just reinforces and vindicates its ideology, which posits that any action taken against it is “part of war.” “It might motivate people more, because you’re doing something more than just posting memes,” he says. “The damage can still be done, so I don’t think they are going anywhere.”

Data from Facebook-owned analytics platform CrowdTangle show a surge in interactions around QAnon content on other platforms following Twitter’s July 21 announcement. Posts on social networks seen to be friendlier to QAnon—such as Parler and MeWe—rallied supporters not to take the Twitter crackdown lying down. “The fight needs to continue on Twitter,” as one Parler account put it.

Argentino isn’t the only one who’s skeptical about the effect of bans. “Account and content takedowns play a useful role in limiting the spread of harmful content, but they can only ever be one part of the solution,” says Jacob Davey, one of three authors of “The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory,” the ISD’s recent report on QAnon. It details the evolution of the movement from late 2017, when several anons—nameless online personalities—coalesced around posts by another who claimed to have “Q” security clearance from the U.S. Department of Energy. “A cursory search of Twitter reveals that it still has a thriving QAnon community,” Davey says.

Indeed, a Bloomberg search of terms associated with the conspiracy movement brought up multiple Twitter accounts with tens of thousands of followers. While they didn’t bear the usual hallmarks of QAnon supporters—such as the use of an illustrated Q—they all circulated QAnon posts from the forum 8kun, the movement’s current home base. They shared misinformation about Black Lives Matter and Covid-19.

Crackdowns by one platform may no longer have much of an impact on the movement. Travis View, a longtime observer of QAnon and presenter of the QAnonAnonymous podcast, says that even if companies were able to push the movement off their platforms, the “delusional QAnon style of thinking” would survive. He says there’s no way to “stamp down every single delusional conspiracy theory that grabs hold in the online community.” Case in point is the recent popularity in QAnon and far-right circles of the “demon sperm” video, featuring several self-described medical experts pushing the merits of hydroxychloroquine, including Dr. Stella Immanuel, who made the claim about the satanic origins of the illness.


Phones held aloft in the audience at a Trump campaign rally in Las Vegas on Feb. 21.
Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images

If crackdowns don’t work, how can tech companies and others deal with a movement built around this miasma of misinformation? A good start would be for social media platforms to enforce existing rules, Davey says. “If platforms were more effective in enforcing policies around authentic and transparent use, this could help strike a blow to the network.” Better enforcement of Facebook’s community standards on authenticity and safety could have devastating effects on the QAnon presence on its platforms. Policies designed to tackle disinformation also need to be more rigidly enforced.

Still, it’s complicated. There are corporate regulations and then there are constitutional guarantees. Argentino points out that many of QAnon’s followers aren’t actually doing anything against the law. “Is QAnon really a problem to solve?” he asks. Before the pandemic, a lot of what QAnon did, as toxic as it was, could be classified as protected speech. Argentino says “there’s a delicate balance where you can be very shortsighted and want to deal with QAnon, especially ahead of an election. But what are the ramifications where this can be applied in other contexts that may have impacts on freedom of expression?”

“QAnon is not ISIS,” he says. The Islamic State group used platforms such as Twitter for recruitment or propaganda, and QAnon isn’t that sophisticated. While QAnon beliefs have a way of rapidly radicalizing some adherents, Argentino says, it would require “individuals with greater organizational skills and operational acumen” to become an actual threat. But, says View, “the potential for greater harm is there.”

QAnon isn’t likely to be as harmlessly batty as the flat Earth movement. Not with friendly platforms continuing to let its followers post what they want. The conspiracy isn’t going to go away soon and, as the Republican Party begins to count on QAnoners for votes, its paranoid style is almost on the verge of political normalization.

In one important aspect, though, QAnon is like Islamic State: Adherents often start from a feeling of alienation and then acquire an unquestioning faith in the righteousness of a cause that gives vent to their frustrations. Davey says longer term solutions are needed to minimize the damage. These include the “mass rollout of digital literacy initiatives, which can help limit the uptake of conspiracy theories.” He says it’s necessary to engage with and talk to believers and “hopefully help them disengage from the QAnon movement.”

A model for that kind of dialogue can already be found on Reddit. Created in July 2019, the subreddit r/QAnonCasualties aims to be a resource for people with loved ones who’ve been taken in by the movement. It currently has more than 9,000 members. Posts with titles such as “A letter to my Q BF!” and “This madness cost us our home” detail the consequences of having a friend or family member start believing in QAnon. The posts, describing angry confrontations in families, closely echo the experiences of people who confront friends and relatives who’ve joined cults.

Underneath each post about losing a friend or relation to QAnon, the subreddit’s users leave advice or words of encouragement. “Feeling like their whole personality has changed is such a shock,” said one comment. “The next few days are gonna suck,” another said on the prospect of having to spend just a few days with their QAnon-believing mother. “We can’t deprogram people or get a loved one out of the cult, but at least we can offer support,” said ‘OreWins,’ one of the moderators of the subreddit, communicating via Reddit’s chat function. OreWins said the forum “helps people understand what QAnon is and how it gets its hooks into people.”

Bloomberg couldn’t verify the accounts in the forum, but they match what View has seen. “I sometimes call it the digital zombie apocalypse, because it feels like this virus that has been spreading to people’s minds through the internet,” he says. He urges more investment in mental health as one way of dealing with QAnon, but he’s one of several experts who recognize that’s just one part of the battle. A lot of QAnon supporters “feel like they’ve been let down by institutions, and they don’t understand what’s going on behind the scenes,” he says. Recent criminal cases—including the Hanau shootings and a 2019 mob boss murder in New York—involved apparently troubled and erratic individuals who’ve latched onto the catch-all ideology.

The big social media companies are now turning against QAnon and its theories. But it may not matter if Twitter is joined by Facebook and all the other apps in this campaign. QAnon and its followers still have ways to come to Thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps the best thing to do is what should have been done all along. Don’t relegate your crazy relatives to the far side of the table. Learn to engage with them even if you disagree, even if it’s difficult. Maybe that’s the best way to save them—and help everyone—while we still have time.
 

Strawboss

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They have the big orange Q on fire on Drudge right now linking to the above article...

Thats about as mainstream as it gets...

Perhaps the best thing to do is what should have been done all along. Don’t relegate your crazy relatives to the far side of the table. Learn to engage with them even if you disagree, even if it’s difficult. Maybe that’s the best way to save them—and help everyone—while we still have time.
Now wouldnt that be something...
 

Strawboss

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A great presentation for anyone interested in the subject of Q...

Its long - but broken down into manageable pieces...excellent job all in all...

 

Uglytruth

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More at link

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/just...al-properties-purchased-funds-misappropriated

Justice Department Seeks Forfeiture of Two Commercial Properties Purchased with Funds Misappropriated from PrivatBank in Ukraine

Both Properties Worth a Combined $70 Million


The United States filed two civil forfeiture complaints today in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida alleging that commercial real estate in Louisville, Kentucky, and Dallas, Texas, both acquired using funds misappropriated from PrivatBank in Ukraine, are subject to forfeiture based on violations of federal money laundering statutes.
 

the_shootist

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A great presentation for anyone interested in the subject of Q...

Its long - but broken down into manageable pieces...excellent job all in all...

Downloaded, thanks!
 

Goldhedge

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It Has Begun, The People Will Now See A Different Economy, A Peoples Economy- Episode 2245a


Marker, Watch The Water, Elections Secured, [DS] Plan Failed - Episode 2245b

 

Goldhedge

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I just watched this. I suggest everyone give it a listen...

THE GREAT RESET: Davos & the Plot to Cancel Trump

 

TRYNEIN

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Trump retweeted the Evil Cates:
ADDENDUM:​
This is 100% correct.​
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS HIMSELF OPENED UP THE DOOR FOR THIS WITH THAT DACA RULING JUST LAST MONTH.​
Remember, TRUMP HIMSELF warned that this gives the President TOO MUCH POWER, if EO's **can't** be reversed by successors.https://t.co/3E8ZQPYg5Q— I Have Not Yet Begun To Pounce - Brian Cates (@drawandstrike) August 8, 2020
Cates retweeted this so it was all of a piece:
When the Judicial branch didn’t rule the DACA EO unconstitutional they opened the door for today.— Col. Rob Maness ret. (@RobManess) August 8, 2020
-----------------------​
A few retweets by POTUS
1. President Trump had no choice but to issue the Executive Orders this afternoon, and given that Obama instituted DACA without legislation and John Roberts seemed okay with that, the president's DOJ will have strong grounds on which to defend them.— Mark R. Levin (@marklevinshow) August 9, 2020
______
Why is the DACA executive order a valid thing per SCOTUS but not this?— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) August 8, 2020
__________
Just think of it as DACA for Americans needing relief from unemployment and payroll taxes.— Razor (@hale_razor) August 8, 2020
___________
ADDENDUM:

This is 100% correct.

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS HIMSELF OPENED UP THE DOOR FOR THIS WITH THAT DACA RULING JUST LAST MONTH.

Remember, TRUMP HIMSELF warned that this gives the President TOO MUCH POWER, if EO's **can't** be reversed by successors.https://t.co/3E8ZQPYg5Q— I Have Not Yet Begun To Pounce - Brian Cates (@drawandstrike) August 8, 2020



.
 

Goldhedge

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Mnuchin warns Democrats against challenging Trump's executive orders
Trump on Saturday signed executive orders to defer payroll taxes and replace an expired unemployment benefit.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin warned Democrats on Sunday that any legal challenge to President Trump’s recent executive orders would delay financial assistance to millions of Americans as he defended the move to drop federal unemployment benefits from $600 a week to $400.

“We’ve cleared with the office of legal counsel all these actions,” Mnuchin said on “Fox News Sunday.” “If the Democrats want to challenge us in court and hold up unemployment benefits to those hardworking Americans that are out of a job because of COVID, they’re going to have a lot of explaining to do.”

Trump on Saturday signed executive orders to defer payroll taxes and replace an expired unemployment benefit with a lower amount after negotiations with Congress on a new coronavirus rescue package collapsed.

The president’s order calls for up to $400 payments each week, one-third less than the $600 people had been receiving. How many people would receive the benefit and how long it might take to arrive were open questions.

The previous unemployment benefit, which expired on Aug. 1, was fully funded by Washington, but Trump is asking states to now cover 25 percent. He is seeking to set aside $44 billion in previously approved disaster aid to help states, but said it would be up to states to determine how much, if any of it, to fund, so the benefits could be smaller still.

When questioned why the administration lowered the federal unemployment benefits, Mnuchin said it was “a fair compromise” and that the White House had offered to continue paying the $600 a week while they negotiated with Democrats. “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace countered by saying the administration had offered to extend the $600 benefits by one week.

Video

“Actually we extended it to two weeks,” Mnuchin said.


Mnuchin also argued that Trump’s proposed payroll tax suspension would not lead to reductions in Social Security payments – an issue raised by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and other Democrats.

“The president in no way wants to harm those trust funds, so they’d be reimbursed just as they always have in the past when we’ve done these types of things,” Mnuchin said.

Trump’s executive orders, which he signed Saturday from his country club in New Jersey, have been met with sharp resistance from Democrats, and even some Republicans, as unconstitutional and ultimately unhelpful to Americans struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.

Video

The use of executive actions drew criticism from Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska. “The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop," said Sasse, a member of the Senate's Judiciary and Finance panels. He added that Trump "does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law. Under the Constitution, that power belongs to the American people acting through their members of Congress.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.
 

the_shootist

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The use of executive actions drew criticism from Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska. “The pen-and-phone theory of executive lawmaking is unconstitutional slop," said Sasse, a member of the Senate's Judiciary and Finance panels. He added that Trump "does not have the power to unilaterally rewrite the payroll tax law. Under the Constitution, that power belongs to the American people acting through their members of Congress.”
Who first said "I have a pen and I have a phone and I'm not afraid to use them"

Hint: he's half black and all Kenyan!
 

Irons

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The [CB]/[DS] Economic Plan Backfired, Watch What Trump Does Next - Episode 2244a


Operation Green Light,POTUS Insulated & Protected,Time To Take The Country Back - Episode 2244b

Q said it x22 Dave reported it You posted it and the very next day it happens. What an exciting time to be alive and aware!


.:meditation:
 

oldgaranddad

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Something is up. First Graham pulls a Schumer and does a Sunday drop

"Somebody Needs To Go To Jail": Graham Erupts After Document Reveals FBI Lied To Congress
https://www.zerohedge.com/political...upts-after-document-reveals-fbi-lied-congress

Now we have this. I highlighted the key sentences below.

Senate chairman subpoenas FBI Director, ex-State official as Russia-Ukraine probe intensifies
https://justthenews.com/accountabil...tter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

A powerful Senate committee chairman has subpoenaed FBI Director Chris Wray and a former State Department official in an intensifying investigation into possible U.S. corruption in Russia and Ukraine and declared there is evidence Joe Biden's family engaged in a "glaring conflict of interest."

Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson announced the actions Monday, strongly accusing Democrats of levying false allegations against him and other GOP investigators to distract from the evidence his committee has gathered about Joe and Hunter Biden's dealings in Ukraine.

"We didn't target Joe and Hunter Biden for investigation; their previous actions had put them in the middle of it," Johnson wrote in a letter released Monday that provided a detailed timeline of Joe Biden's Ukraine policy actions and his son's hiring with the Ukraine natural gas company Burisma Holdings.

"Many in the media, in an ongoing attempt to provide cover for former Vice President Biden, continue to repeat the mantra that there is 'no evidence of wrongdoing or illegal activity' related to Hunter Biden's position on Burisma's board," the senator wrote.
 

the_shootist

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Something is up. First Graham pulls a Schumer and does a Sunday drop

"Somebody Needs To Go To Jail": Graham Erupts After Document Reveals FBI Lied To Congress
https://www.zerohedge.com/political...upts-after-document-reveals-fbi-lied-congress

Now we have this. I highlighted the key sentences below.

Senate chairman subpoenas FBI Director, ex-State official as Russia-Ukraine probe intensifies
https://justthenews.com/accountabil...tter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter

A powerful Senate committee chairman has subpoenaed FBI Director Chris Wray and a former State Department official in an intensifying investigation into possible U.S. corruption in Russia and Ukraine and declared there is evidence Joe Biden's family engaged in a "glaring conflict of interest."

Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Chairman Ron Johnson announced the actions Monday, strongly accusing Democrats of levying false allegations against him and other GOP investigators to distract from the evidence his committee has gathered about Joe and Hunter Biden's dealings in Ukraine.

"We didn't target Joe and Hunter Biden for investigation; their previous actions had put them in the middle of it," Johnson wrote in a letter released Monday that provided a detailed timeline of Joe Biden's Ukraine policy actions and his son's hiring with the Ukraine natural gas company Burisma Holdings.

"Many in the media, in an ongoing attempt to provide cover for former Vice President Biden, continue to repeat the mantra that there is 'no evidence of wrongdoing or illegal activity' related to Hunter Biden's position on Burisma's board," the senator wrote.
Don't be fooled! Graham and McConnell are the swamp too! We'll all see this soon.
 

oldgaranddad

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Don't be fooled! Graham and McConnell are the swamp too! We'll all see this soon.
Yeah, I am on the fence about Graham and Sessions. I think they go which ever way the wind blows.
 

Goldhedge

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AWK 8.10.20: It's GO TIME! Time to RIGHT the [DS] WRONGS!

 

Goldhedge

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Ron Johnson Subpoenas Christopher Wray & More! Redpill78

 

Strawboss

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I cheated:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/11/...ice-department-national-security-adviser.html

Mr. Cohen-Watnick, 31, served briefly at the start of the Trump administration as the senior director for intelligence for the National Security Council, overseeing covert action and other intelligence programs.
He was brought on by Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser. But some former officials criticized Mr. Cohen-Watnick, a former clandestine officer in the Defense Intelligence Agency, as too young for the job, which is usually filled by C.I.A. veterans.

Mr. Cohen-Watnick was ousted in August 2017 as part of changes in the White House, one of several appointees of Mr. Flynn who were removed by his replacement, Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster.
 

Goldhedge

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{CB]s Now On The Losing Side, Tactical Economic Move


The World Is Watching, They Never Thought She Would Lose, Now They All Lose - Episode 2246b

 

Goldhedge

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President Trump’s first national security adviser. But some former officials criticized Mr. Cohen-Watnick, a former clandestine officer in the Defense Intelligence Agency, as too young for the job, which is usually filled by C.I.A. veterans.
Which is all one need to know....
 

Uglytruth

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Annnnnnnnnnnnnddddddddddddddd another......

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1236317

QAnon groups have millions of members on Facebook, documents show
The preliminary results of an investigation by Facebook shed new light on the scope of activity and content from the QAnon community on the platform.

A Donald Trump supporter holding a QAnon flag visits Mount Rushmore National Monument on July 1, 2020 in Keystone, S.D.Scott Olson / Getty Images file
  • Share this -
Aug. 10, 2020, 4:12 PM EDT
By Ari Sen and Brandy Zadrozny
An internal investigation by Facebook has uncovered thousands of groups and pages, with millions of members and followers, that support the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to internal company documents reviewed by NBC News.
The investigation’s preliminary results, which were provided to NBC News by a Facebook employee, shed new light on the scope of activity and content from the QAnon community on Facebook, a scale previously undisclosed by Facebook and unreported by the news media, because most of the groups are private.


The top 10 groups identified in the investigation collectively contain more than 1 million members, with totals from more top groups and pages pushing the number of members and followers past 3 million. It is not clear how much overlap there is among the groups.
The investigation will likely inform what, if any, action Facebook decides to take against its QAnon community, according to the documents and two current Facebook employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The company is considering an option similar to its handling of anti-vaccination content, which is to reject advertising and exclude QAnon groups and pages from search results and recommendations, an action that would reduce the community’s visibility.
An announcement about Facebook’s ultimate decision is also expected to target members of “militias and other violent social movements,” according to the documents and Facebook employees.
Facebook has been key to QAnon's growth, in large part due to the platform's Groups feature, which has also seen a significant uptick in use since the social network began emphasizing it in 2017.

There are tens of millions of active groups, a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News in 2019, a number that has probably grown since the company began serving up group posts in users’ main feeds. While most groups are dedicated to innocuous content, extremists, from QAnon conspiracy theorists to anti-vaccination activists, have also used the groups feature to grow their audiences and spread misinformation. Facebook aided that growth with its recommendations feature, powered by a secret algorithm that suggests groups to users seemingly based on interests and existing group membership.




Facebook has been studying the QAnon movement since at least June. In July, a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News that that company was investigating QAnon as part of a larger look at groups with potential ties to violence.

A small team working across several of Facebook’s departments found 185 ads that the company had accepted “praising, supporting, or representing” QAnon, according to an internal post shared among more than 400 employees. The ads generated about $12,000 for Facebook and 4 million impressions in the last 30 days.

Some of the most recent ads included one for a “QAnon March for Children” in Detroit, and several retailers selling QAnon merchandise, according to Facebook’s searchable ad library. Many now-inactive QAnon ads also ran recently on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Most of the Instagram accounts that ran those ads were abandoned or removed, according to the ad library.


A Facebook spokesperson said the company has routinely enforced its rules on QAnon groups.

"Enforcing against QAnon on Facebook is not new: we consistently take action against accounts, Groups, and Pages tied to QAnon that break our rules. Just last week, we removed a large Group with QAnon affiliations for violating our content policies, and removed a network of accounts for violating our policies against coordinated inauthentic behavior," the spokesperson, who asked not to be named for fear of harassment from the QAnon community, wrote in an emailed statement. "We have teams assessing our policies against QAnon and are currently exploring additional actions we can take."

The potential crack down follows a campaign from mainstream advertisers as well as lawmakers to curtail misinformation and hate speech on Facebook. Along with a significant summer advertising boycott, 20 state attorneys general and the congressional Democratic Women's Caucus wrote separate letters last week urging Facebook to enforce its policies and clean up its platform.

Some members of Facebook's cross-departmental team tasked with tracking QAnon for the internal investigation say they are concerned the company will decline to ban QAnon groups outright, opting for weaker enforcement actions, according to one current employee. Those employees have shared concerns with one another that QAnon could influence the 2020 election, the employee added, noting that the pages and groups most likely violate Facebook’s existing policies against misinformation and extremism.

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Facebook and other platforms face a unique challenge in moderating QAnon communities, said Joan Donovan, director of the Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media Politics and Public Policy at Harvard. The platforms act both as the “base infrastructure” for networking and spreading content and a target of the conspiracy theory itself, which frames Facebook and other platforms as “oppressive regimes that seek to destroy truth,” Donovan said.

“Facebook is definitely the largest piece of the QAnon infrastructure,” Donovan said. “While people who have bought into these disinformation campaigns are already affected, preventing it from spreading to new groups and new audiences is one intervention, among many, that are needed. Unless there is some kind of coordination between platform companies to get rid of the main QAnon influencers, it will continuously pop back up.”

Facebook’s anticipated move follows Twitter’s more aggressive action against QAnon. In July, Twitter announced it had banned 7,000 QAnon accounts for breaking its rules around platform manipulation, misinformation and harassment. Twitter also said it would no longer recommend QAnon accounts and content, would stop such content from appearing in trends and search, and would block QAnon’s internet links.





QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy theory that originally formedaround the idea that President Donald Trump is leading a secret war against the “deep state,” a group of political, business and Hollywood elites who, according to the theory, worship Satan and abuse and murder children. These baseless claims emerge from posts by an anonymous user on a fringe internet forum who goes by “Q.”


QAnon grew out of the “pizzagate” conspiracy theory, which claimed that Hillary Clinton ran a pedophilia ring from a Washington pizza shop. Many of the most popular QAnon groups are also pizzagate groups, according to the leaked documents.

Both pizzagate and QAnon have been implicated in real-world violence, including armed standoffs, attempted kidnappings, harassment campaigns, a shooting and at least two murders — events noted by Facebook as part of its investigation, according to the documents. In 2019, the FBI designated QAnon as a potential domestic terrorist threat.

While QAnon is a product of the internet, born on fringe forums and spread through social media, the conspiracy has become politically mainstream in recent months. “Q” signs and merchandise were first spotted at Trump campaign rallies in 2018. More than 70 congressional candidates have endorsed some part of the QAnon ideology in 2020, according to the liberal watchdog Media Matters.

In 2019, Facebook took action against anti-vaccination pages and content, hoping to reduce the visibility of misinformation by strangling its reach, but it stopped short of a total ban. Despite that action, the largest anti-vaccination pages and groups have continued to grow in the last year, according to data from CrowdTangle, Facebook’s social media analysis tool.

Ad


Facebook has taken down QAnon accounts before, but previous removals have been based on behavior rather than content that violated policy. Last week, Facebook removed a QAnon group with nearly 200,000 members “for repeatedly posting content that violated our policies,” according to a Facebook spokesperson. In May, Facebook purged a small section of the U.S. QAnon community that included five pages, six groups and 20 profiles, citing “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” whereby accounts work together to push content and obscure their own networks.

Last week, Facebook removed 35 Facebook accounts, three pages and 88 Instagram accounts that operated from Romania and pushed pro-Trump messages, including the promotion of QAnon.
 

SongSungAU

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Annnnnnnnnnnnnddddddddddddddd another......
Yep. Isn't it strange how they can take pictures of Q followers holding flags, etc. but they can never find a Q follower burning buildings down or tearing down statues. And Q followers are the bad guys? LOL!

Things that make you go Hmmmm.
 

Thecrensh

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Yep. Isn't it strange how they can take pictures of Q followers holding flags, etc. but they can never find a Q follower burning buildings down or tearing down statues. And Q followers are the bad guys? LOL!

Things that make you go Hmmmm.
I'm telling ya...if Biden wins in Nov ("wins"), anyone who doesn't go along with the narrative is going to be castigated as having "potential ties to violence" and named a terrorist.
 

Goldhedge

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I'm telling ya...if Biden wins in Nov ("wins"), anyone who doesn't go along with the narrative is going to be castigated as having "potential ties to violence" and named a terrorist.
If he does you'll have proof they rigged the election.

However, the NSA is tasked with national security (it's in their name...) so what would deal more with national security than assuring the elections are 'secure' and not manipulated?
 

Alton

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Annnnnnnnnnnnnddddddddddddddd another......

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1236317

QAnon groups have millions of members on Facebook, documents show
The preliminary results of an investigation by Facebook shed new light on the scope of activity and content from the QAnon community on the platform.

A Donald Trump supporter holding a QAnon flag visits Mount Rushmore National Monument on July 1, 2020 in Keystone, S.D.Scott Olson / Getty Images file
  • Share this -
Aug. 10, 2020, 4:12 PM EDT
By Ari Sen and Brandy Zadrozny
An internal investigation by Facebook has uncovered thousands of groups and pages, with millions of members and followers, that support the QAnon conspiracy theory, according to internal company documents reviewed by NBC News.
The investigation’s preliminary results, which were provided to NBC News by a Facebook employee, shed new light on the scope of activity and content from the QAnon community on Facebook, a scale previously undisclosed by Facebook and unreported by the news media, because most of the groups are private.


The top 10 groups identified in the investigation collectively contain more than 1 million members, with totals from more top groups and pages pushing the number of members and followers past 3 million. It is not clear how much overlap there is among the groups.
The investigation will likely inform what, if any, action Facebook decides to take against its QAnon community, according to the documents and two current Facebook employees who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. The company is considering an option similar to its handling of anti-vaccination content, which is to reject advertising and exclude QAnon groups and pages from search results and recommendations, an action that would reduce the community’s visibility.
An announcement about Facebook’s ultimate decision is also expected to target members of “militias and other violent social movements,” according to the documents and Facebook employees.
Facebook has been key to QAnon's growth, in large part due to the platform's Groups feature, which has also seen a significant uptick in use since the social network began emphasizing it in 2017.

There are tens of millions of active groups, a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News in 2019, a number that has probably grown since the company began serving up group posts in users’ main feeds. While most groups are dedicated to innocuous content, extremists, from QAnon conspiracy theorists to anti-vaccination activists, have also used the groups feature to grow their audiences and spread misinformation. Facebook aided that growth with its recommendations feature, powered by a secret algorithm that suggests groups to users seemingly based on interests and existing group membership.




Facebook has been studying the QAnon movement since at least June. In July, a Facebook spokesperson told NBC News that that company was investigating QAnon as part of a larger look at groups with potential ties to violence.

A small team working across several of Facebook’s departments found 185 ads that the company had accepted “praising, supporting, or representing” QAnon, according to an internal post shared among more than 400 employees. The ads generated about $12,000 for Facebook and 4 million impressions in the last 30 days.

Some of the most recent ads included one for a “QAnon March for Children” in Detroit, and several retailers selling QAnon merchandise, according to Facebook’s searchable ad library. Many now-inactive QAnon ads also ran recently on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Most of the Instagram accounts that ran those ads were abandoned or removed, according to the ad library.


A Facebook spokesperson said the company has routinely enforced its rules on QAnon groups.

"Enforcing against QAnon on Facebook is not new: we consistently take action against accounts, Groups, and Pages tied to QAnon that break our rules. Just last week, we removed a large Group with QAnon affiliations for violating our content policies, and removed a network of accounts for violating our policies against coordinated inauthentic behavior," the spokesperson, who asked not to be named for fear of harassment from the QAnon community, wrote in an emailed statement. "We have teams assessing our policies against QAnon and are currently exploring additional actions we can take."

The potential crack down follows a campaign from mainstream advertisers as well as lawmakers to curtail misinformation and hate speech on Facebook. Along with a significant summer advertising boycott, 20 state attorneys general and the congressional Democratic Women's Caucus wrote separate letters last week urging Facebook to enforce its policies and clean up its platform.

Some members of Facebook's cross-departmental team tasked with tracking QAnon for the internal investigation say they are concerned the company will decline to ban QAnon groups outright, opting for weaker enforcement actions, according to one current employee. Those employees have shared concerns with one another that QAnon could influence the 2020 election, the employee added, noting that the pages and groups most likely violate Facebook’s existing policies against misinformation and extremism.

Ad

Facebook and other platforms face a unique challenge in moderating QAnon communities, said Joan Donovan, director of the Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media Politics and Public Policy at Harvard. The platforms act both as the “base infrastructure” for networking and spreading content and a target of the conspiracy theory itself, which frames Facebook and other platforms as “oppressive regimes that seek to destroy truth,” Donovan said.

“Facebook is definitely the largest piece of the QAnon infrastructure,” Donovan said. “While people who have bought into these disinformation campaigns are already affected, preventing it from spreading to new groups and new audiences is one intervention, among many, that are needed. Unless there is some kind of coordination between platform companies to get rid of the main QAnon influencers, it will continuously pop back up.”

Facebook’s anticipated move follows Twitter’s more aggressive action against QAnon. In July, Twitter announced it had banned 7,000 QAnon accounts for breaking its rules around platform manipulation, misinformation and harassment. Twitter also said it would no longer recommend QAnon accounts and content, would stop such content from appearing in trends and search, and would block QAnon’s internet links.





QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy theory that originally formedaround the idea that President Donald Trump is leading a secret war against the “deep state,” a group of political, business and Hollywood elites who, according to the theory, worship Satan and abuse and murder children. These baseless claims emerge from posts by an anonymous user on a fringe internet forum who goes by “Q.”


QAnon grew out of the “pizzagate” conspiracy theory, which claimed that Hillary Clinton ran a pedophilia ring from a Washington pizza shop. Many of the most popular QAnon groups are also pizzagate groups, according to the leaked documents.

Both pizzagate and QAnon have been implicated in real-world violence, including armed standoffs, attempted kidnappings, harassment campaigns, a shooting and at least two murders — events noted by Facebook as part of its investigation, according to the documents. In 2019, the FBI designated QAnon as a potential domestic terrorist threat.

While QAnon is a product of the internet, born on fringe forums and spread through social media, the conspiracy has become politically mainstream in recent months. “Q” signs and merchandise were first spotted at Trump campaign rallies in 2018. More than 70 congressional candidates have endorsed some part of the QAnon ideology in 2020, according to the liberal watchdog Media Matters.

In 2019, Facebook took action against anti-vaccination pages and content, hoping to reduce the visibility of misinformation by strangling its reach, but it stopped short of a total ban. Despite that action, the largest anti-vaccination pages and groups have continued to grow in the last year, according to data from CrowdTangle, Facebook’s social media analysis tool.

Ad


Facebook has taken down QAnon accounts before, but previous removals have been based on behavior rather than content that violated policy. Last week, Facebook removed a QAnon group with nearly 200,000 members “for repeatedly posting content that violated our policies,” according to a Facebook spokesperson. In May, Facebook purged a small section of the U.S. QAnon community that included five pages, six groups and 20 profiles, citing “coordinated inauthentic behavior,” whereby accounts work together to push content and obscure their own networks.

Last week, Facebook removed 35 Facebook accounts, three pages and 88 Instagram accounts that operated from Romania and pushed pro-Trump messages, including the promotion of QAnon.
Facebook is so far behind the curve on Q that attempts to stop it or even to throttle it are laughably failing. Fumbducks done lost the war! Q happened before social media was even aware. 4Chan, 8Chan, 8kun, BOOM! QMAP, Qpub,X22,Praying Medic,RedPill78,Dave Janda, Amazing Polly and many others all have their own websites far beyond social media control. The Q fire spread far beyond the control youtube/Google. Just look at all the video sites now hosting videos from "Q-balls" and "Alt Right" news (OANN, NTD, others). Social media and video hosts who support commie news and the leftist agenda never dropped the ball on this because they NEVER picked up the ball. They saw the ball, took a mild offense at it and quietly ignored it, covered it up and tried to scoot it off the field as they distracted what they thought was their gullible audience. Only now do they realize, at their final hour just how huge and deep their opposition really is.

Excuse me please while I make a brief re-introduction...Mr. Hubris may I introduce Miss Nemesis...you have the first dance and the floor is all yours! Maestro!
 
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I'm telling ya...if Biden wins in Nov ("wins"), anyone who doesn't go along with the narrative is going to be castigated as having "potential ties to violence" and named a terrorist.
I think a lot of people will be "loaded onto box cars" if any Dem holds the presidency ever again.
 
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Goldhedge

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[C]oats Before [D]eclas
Q
!!mG7VJxZNCI1 Aug 2019 - 11:22:36 AM
[C] before [D].
[C]oats before [D]eclas.
The month of AUGUST is traditionally very HOT.
You have more than you know.
Q

Screen Shot 2020-08-11 at 7.32.42 AM.png
 

Goldhedge

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SOMETHING HUGE IS BREWING! HERE ARE THE SIGNS: TRUMP/BIDEN/HUNTER/OPTIMA/FBI/BARR/GRAHAM/HALPER


Black Conservative Patriot
 

newmisty

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They are now trying to use family shame to drive more wedges. These are the same people telling us she was destined to win & basement sniffer, dogfaceponysoldier is leading.

https://archive.is/nXbbi

QAnon Is Running Amok, and the Time Has Come for Interventions

Family members may be the last line of defense as the amorphous online conspiracy movement attempts to break into the mainstream.

By August 8, 2020, 10:00 AM UTC


Photo illustration: 731; Photos: Getty Images

Imagine it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, the one where the entire extended family shows up. There’s a little corner of the long dinner table where you put the relatives most likely to be awkward, so they can chat among themselves. You know who they are, the uncle and cousins who go on rants about Trump’s righteous war against an international cabal of pedophiles or Hillary Clinton’s imminent arrest. Everyone else in the family remembers the stir that corner caused when they claimed that Tom Hanks had a sex slave. No one with any sense took them seriously. Picking a fight would sap your energy and divide the clan.

For the most part, social media companies have been content to treat QAnon like those relatives. (And those are actual QAnon beliefs.) None of the tech giants were really happy the amorphous online conspiracy movement was at their party, but it wasn’t worth the trouble to disinvite them. As long as they kept to their own corner of the internet, the QAnon faithful could enjoy turkey and stuffing with everyone else.

But everything has changed. In the annus horribilis of 2020, the social networks can no longer afford to treat QAnon the same way. Why? Because it’s left its corner and is messing with the rest of the table.

Memes emanating from the conspiracy group—which are tenuously united in the discredited belief that there’s a plot to oust Trump from the presidency—have made their way into the social media accounts of everyone from Michael Flynn (who was briefly national security adviser) to White House social media adviser Dan Scavino. Sometimes these memes can be as innocent as an image featuring Trump with a QAnon slogan (as was the case for Scavino), but at other times they take on more sinister overtones such as the oath to QAnon—“Where we go one, we go all”—which Flynn posted on July 4. Trump’s account has been known to retweet accounts aligned with QAnon.



An attendee displays a “We Are Q” sign before the start of a Trump rally in Lewis Center, Ohio, on Aug. 4, 2018.
Photographer: Maddie McGarvey/Bloomberg

It goes down the political chain. QAnon-sympathetic Republican candidates may be on the ballot for the Senate and the House in November, including Lauren Boebert in Colorado, Jo Rae Perkins in Oregon, and Marjorie Taylor Greene in Georgia (who faces an Aug. 11 runoff). It also seems to be manifesting outside the U.S. In February, in Hanau, Germany, a lone gunman espousing QAnon-like beliefs massacred nine people in bars frequented by immigrants before killing his mother and himself.

The Covid-19 pandemic has only helped the movement expand: Hundreds of thousands of people with nothing else to do have been exposed to the fringe fulminations. The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), a London think tank, says that from March through June, QAnon-related posts surged on Facebook and Twitter. While its believers were far from the only ones trying to discredit the use of masks or cast doubt on vaccines, they were among the largest groups.

Twitter took action on July 21, announcing measures targeting “so-called ‘QAnon’ activity” across its platform. “We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm,” the company tweeted as it detailed the crackdown. Twitter is suspending accounts for breaking existing rules and will no longer highlight as “trending” or recommend content and accounts associated with QAnon. It will also try to stop the movement from being played up in search. Users will no longer be able to share URLs associated with it.

Twitter’s plan has parallels with an earlier crackdown by Reddit in 2018 after its forums became QAnon hotbeds. The most prominent subreddits associated with the movement came down, and new ones even hinting they had something to do with it could not be created. Reddit’s move is considered to be among the more significant blows against QAnon.

But the tactics so effective on Reddit in 2018 may not work for Twitter. The QAnon movement is now a very different beast from the one that used to populate now-deleted subreddits such as r/TheGreatAwakening. If Twitter no longer wants QAnon to come to Thanksgiving, the conspiracists can still put on a mustache and a hat and sneak in through the back door. There’s nothing to stop banned QAnoners from returning to engage in “digital guerrilla warfare,” says Marc-André Argentino, a researcher at Concordia University in Quebec who studies how extremist groups use online technology and co-authored a report from West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center titled “The QAnon Conspiracy Theory: A Security Threat in the Making?” All they have to do is get “a bunch of new sock puppet accounts”—camouflaged identities—to stage incursions on Twitter with fresh tweets.

For QAnon adherents, Argentino says, “Twitter is the battlefield.” A ban just reinforces and vindicates its ideology, which posits that any action taken against it is “part of war.” “It might motivate people more, because you’re doing something more than just posting memes,” he says. “The damage can still be done, so I don’t think they are going anywhere.”

Data from Facebook-owned analytics platform CrowdTangle show a surge in interactions around QAnon content on other platforms following Twitter’s July 21 announcement. Posts on social networks seen to be friendlier to QAnon—such as Parler and MeWe—rallied supporters not to take the Twitter crackdown lying down. “The fight needs to continue on Twitter,” as one Parler account put it.

Argentino isn’t the only one who’s skeptical about the effect of bans. “Account and content takedowns play a useful role in limiting the spread of harmful content, but they can only ever be one part of the solution,” says Jacob Davey, one of three authors of “The Genesis of a Conspiracy Theory,” the ISD’s recent report on QAnon. It details the evolution of the movement from late 2017, when several anons—nameless online personalities—coalesced around posts by another who claimed to have “Q” security clearance from the U.S. Department of Energy. “A cursory search of Twitter reveals that it still has a thriving QAnon community,” Davey says.

Indeed, a Bloomberg search of terms associated with the conspiracy movement brought up multiple Twitter accounts with tens of thousands of followers. While they didn’t bear the usual hallmarks of QAnon supporters—such as the use of an illustrated Q—they all circulated QAnon posts from the forum 8kun, the movement’s current home base. They shared misinformation about Black Lives Matter and Covid-19.

Crackdowns by one platform may no longer have much of an impact on the movement. Travis View, a longtime observer of QAnon and presenter of the QAnonAnonymous podcast, says that even if companies were able to push the movement off their platforms, the “delusional QAnon style of thinking” would survive. He says there’s no way to “stamp down every single delusional conspiracy theory that grabs hold in the online community.” Case in point is the recent popularity in QAnon and far-right circles of the “demon sperm” video, featuring several self-described medical experts pushing the merits of hydroxychloroquine, including Dr. Stella Immanuel, who made the claim about the satanic origins of the illness.


Phones held aloft in the audience at a Trump campaign rally in Las Vegas on Feb. 21.
Photographer: Mario Tama/Getty Images

If crackdowns don’t work, how can tech companies and others deal with a movement built around this miasma of misinformation? A good start would be for social media platforms to enforce existing rules, Davey says. “If platforms were more effective in enforcing policies around authentic and transparent use, this could help strike a blow to the network.” Better enforcement of Facebook’s community standards on authenticity and safety could have devastating effects on the QAnon presence on its platforms. Policies designed to tackle disinformation also need to be more rigidly enforced.

Still, it’s complicated. There are corporate regulations and then there are constitutional guarantees. Argentino points out that many of QAnon’s followers aren’t actually doing anything against the law. “Is QAnon really a problem to solve?” he asks. Before the pandemic, a lot of what QAnon did, as toxic as it was, could be classified as protected speech. Argentino says “there’s a delicate balance where you can be very shortsighted and want to deal with QAnon, especially ahead of an election. But what are the ramifications where this can be applied in other contexts that may have impacts on freedom of expression?”

“QAnon is not ISIS,” he says. The Islamic State group used platforms such as Twitter for recruitment or propaganda, and QAnon isn’t that sophisticated. While QAnon beliefs have a way of rapidly radicalizing some adherents, Argentino says, it would require “individuals with greater organizational skills and operational acumen” to become an actual threat. But, says View, “the potential for greater harm is there.”

QAnon isn’t likely to be as harmlessly batty as the flat Earth movement. Not with friendly platforms continuing to let its followers post what they want. The conspiracy isn’t going to go away soon and, as the Republican Party begins to count on QAnoners for votes, its paranoid style is almost on the verge of political normalization.

In one important aspect, though, QAnon is like Islamic State: Adherents often start from a feeling of alienation and then acquire an unquestioning faith in the righteousness of a cause that gives vent to their frustrations. Davey says longer term solutions are needed to minimize the damage. These include the “mass rollout of digital literacy initiatives, which can help limit the uptake of conspiracy theories.” He says it’s necessary to engage with and talk to believers and “hopefully help them disengage from the QAnon movement.”

A model for that kind of dialogue can already be found on Reddit. Created in July 2019, the subreddit r/QAnonCasualties aims to be a resource for people with loved ones who’ve been taken in by the movement. It currently has more than 9,000 members. Posts with titles such as “A letter to my Q BF!” and “This madness cost us our home” detail the consequences of having a friend or family member start believing in QAnon. The posts, describing angry confrontations in families, closely echo the experiences of people who confront friends and relatives who’ve joined cults.

Underneath each post about losing a friend or relation to QAnon, the subreddit’s users leave advice or words of encouragement. “Feeling like their whole personality has changed is such a shock,” said one comment. “The next few days are gonna suck,” another said on the prospect of having to spend just a few days with their QAnon-believing mother. “We can’t deprogram people or get a loved one out of the cult, but at least we can offer support,” said ‘OreWins,’ one of the moderators of the subreddit, communicating via Reddit’s chat function. OreWins said the forum “helps people understand what QAnon is and how it gets its hooks into people.”

Bloomberg couldn’t verify the accounts in the forum, but they match what View has seen. “I sometimes call it the digital zombie apocalypse, because it feels like this virus that has been spreading to people’s minds through the internet,” he says. He urges more investment in mental health as one way of dealing with QAnon, but he’s one of several experts who recognize that’s just one part of the battle. A lot of QAnon supporters “feel like they’ve been let down by institutions, and they don’t understand what’s going on behind the scenes,” he says. Recent criminal cases—including the Hanau shootings and a 2019 mob boss murder in New York—involved apparently troubled and erratic individuals who’ve latched onto the catch-all ideology.

The big social media companies are now turning against QAnon and its theories. But it may not matter if Twitter is joined by Facebook and all the other apps in this campaign. QAnon and its followers still have ways to come to Thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps the best thing to do is what should have been done all along. Don’t relegate your crazy relatives to the far side of the table. Learn to engage with them even if you disagree, even if it’s difficult. Maybe that’s the best way to save them—and help everyone—while we still have time.
Notice there's no articles trying to get your family to encourage you to dis-believe in bigfoot or the loch Ness monster? Because those aren't a threat.
 

newmisty

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All for a LARP right?

.
  • There was more than 10 times as much Google search interest in QAnon in mid-July than in mid-January, according to Google Trends data.


QAnon's 2020 resurgence
Aug 4, 2020 - Technology


Stef W. Kight, Sara Fischer


Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios
The strange realities of 2020 have perfectly played to the kind of fear QAnon thrives on, driving record online interest in the conspiracy theory.

Why it matters: QAnon is not just one fringe conspiracy theory — it's a sprawling network of falsehoods that's seeping into the mainstream. Its growing influence is sowing fear and confusion around some of today's most important issues, such as election integrity and the coronavirus pandemic.

Catch up quick: QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory that alleges the "deep state" is engaged in a global fight to take down President Trump.
  • QAnon rose out of the 2016 Pizzagate conspiracy theory and has grown into a decentralized network that analyzes cryptic prophecies dropped in remote online forums by "Q," who claims, without ever offering evidence, to be a Trump administration official with high-level clearance.
  • Q maintains President Trump is secretly fighting a child-selling cabal in the U.S., though the conspiracy has spiraled to cover a vast array of claims, from JFK Jr. having faked his death to help Trump behind the scenes to the coronavirus being a hoax or a biological weapon engineered in either case by sinister elites.
By the numbers: Conspiracy theories tied to QAnon are growing more popular.
  • There was more than 10 times as much Google search interest in QAnon in mid-July than in mid-January, according to Google Trends data.
  • QAnon pages and groups on Facebook had nearly 10 timesmore likes at the end of last month than they did last July, according to data tracked by the Atlantic Council and shared with Axios.
  • There has been a 190% increase in the daily average number of tweets with popular QAnon hashtags since March as compared to the seven months prior, according to data from GroupSense provided to Axios.
Parts of the mainstream Republican party have latched on, helping drive its conspiracy theories mainstream.
Between the lines: For all its twisty logic and branching details, Qanon is premised on a simple narrative of the good working to vanquish the evil, who are responsible for all the world's ills. There are very real concerns that may be driving more people to that narrative.
  • 2020's battered economy has spurred wide-ranging anxiety and uncertainty.
  • Child trafficking, central to QAnon, has seen greater visibility, with the Jeffrey Epstein saga working as "gasoline poured onto QAnon embers, springing the theory back to life at a moment when some believers were suffering doubts," said Ethan Zuckerman, director of MIT's Center for Civic Media.
  • Coronavirus has funneled what might otherwise be disparate conspiracy theories about cover-ups and global vaccine schemes into the grand unified theory offered by QAnon.
QAnon could pose real-world danger as it grows, scholars and analysts worry.
  • Experts are particularly concerned it could undermine faith in democracy, with recent Q posts questioning vote-by-mail and election integrity.
  • The web of misinformation expanding from within QAnon "definitely has real teeth," said Bryce Webster-Jacobsen of cyber intelligence firm GroupSense.
What to watch: Tech giants are starting to crack down on QAnon, but policies around it are inconsistent and may in some cases be easily dodged.
Yes, but: Studies have shown that users are more likely to seek out bad information when a Big Tech platform flags it as false.
  • "There's sort of this censorship backfire that happens, and people start becoming outraged that [a video is] being taken down and then sharing it more and more and more," said Zarine Kharazian, assistant editor at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab.
Meanwhile: New platforms such as Parler and TheDonald.win are giving the conspiracy theory places to spread unchecked.
  • On Parler, which has attracted conservatives, Webster-Jacobsen said there are 10,000 to 15,000 new posts every day with the hashtags #QAnon or #WWG1WGA — which stands for the Q catchphrase "where we go one, we go all."
The bottom line: Trust in U.S. institutions is dangerously low, which creates a ripe environment for big-tent conspiracies such as QAnon.
  • "In some senses, the QAnon conspiracy is a deeply comfortable one: the idea that pedophile alien lizard people led by Hillary Clinton are running everything is more comfortable than the truth that no one has their hand firmly on the tiller,” Zuckerman says.

https://www.axios.com/qanons-2020-resurgence-41759d2b-7d08-4d6e-bad0-d2a63b6285ad.html
 

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