QAnon falls silent after election day

Conspiracy theory predicted Donald Trump to win US election

James Crump
Wednesday 11 November 2020 16:07 EST
Trump refuses to condemn QAnon saying they care very strongly about paedophilia

The QAnon movement’s “leader”, Q, has gone silent following Donald Trump’s loss in last week’s presidential election, as some users have expressed skepticism about the mysterious account’s claims.

The QAnon movement, whose followers claim a deep state is plotting against Mr Trump, has been identified by the FBI as an extremist group and accounts dedicated to it have been banned by both Facebook and Twitter.

Followers of the right-wing conspiracy theory also claim that Mr Trump is leading the fight against a deep-state cabal of Satan-worshipping paedophiles, partly run by the Democratic Party, who are involved in a global child sex trafficking ring.

The QAnon movement began on the discussion board 4chan in 2017, with a user called Q claiming to be someone with the highest level of security clearance in the Department of Energy.

The user claimed to have access to top-secret information on nuclear weapons, and last week predicted a landslide victory for Mr Trump in the presidential election.

However, following Mr Trump’s loss to President-elect Joe Biden in last week’s election, Q has not posted anything on discussion boards, according to the Washington Post.

Followers of the conspiracy have also started to express scepticism about its leader’s claims, as one follower posted: “We're losing. Not sure I trust the plan anymore. Not sure there even is a plan,” while another added: “Have we all been conned?”

Another user wrote: “HOW CAN I SPEAK TO Q???? MY FAITH IS SHAKEN. I FOLLOWED THE PLAN. TRUMP LOST!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT NOW?????? WHERE IS THE PLAN???” according to the Post.

Uncertainty has also risen among supporters of the right-wing conspiracy theory, after Ron Watkins, the administrator of Q’s message board on 8kun, resigned last week.

One QAnon account said that other followers have been “talked off the ledge,” following Mr Biden’s win and the subsequent lack of activity on the discussion board, according to the Daily Mail.

Fredrick Brennan, the founder of discussion board 8chan, told The New York Times: “They feel really defeated by the deep state, even if they’re not admitting it in public.

“They were not expecting him to lose, and they were not expecting Fox News to call it. It was really psychologically damaging.”

However, QAnon Anonymous podcast host Travis View said: “The majority reaction from QAnon followers has been outright denial.”

Mr Trump has repeatedly falsely claimed that there was widespread fraud in the election, and his team issued multiple lawsuits in several states. He is yet to concede the election.

Followers have cited this, alongside Mr Trump playing golf when Mr Biden was declared the winner of the election, as him being in control.

One follower wrote: “Trump knows what he is doing. He is letting the Dems, technocrats and media publicly hang themselves.”

QAnon supporter Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene was elected to Congress as a representative for Georgia's 14th District in last week’s election. 

Although the conspiracy theory has been repeatedly debunked, there are fears that her election win could legitimise its baseless claims.

Mr Trump did not help dissuade its followers during the election campaign, as he refused to disavow the conspiracy theory when asked to by Savannah Guthrie during a NBC town hall interview.

“I know nothing about QAnon. I know very little,” Trump claimed, as Guthrie responded “I just told you.”

Mr Trump added: “You told me, but what you tell me doesn't necessarily make it fact – I hate to say that,” and continued: “I know nothing about it. I know they are very much against paedophilia, they fight it very hard. But I know nothing about it.”

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