Why QAnon Survives After Trump : NPR

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  sandy-2021492  •  3 weeks ago  •  18 comments

By:   NPR. org

Why QAnon Survives After Trump : NPR
Travis View hosts the conspiracy-debunking podcast QAnon Anonymous. He says QAnon persists because its delusional ideas don't come from a single leader, but are "self-generated" and "crowdsourced."

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


February 4, 20214:14 PM ET Heard on All Things Considered

Emma Bowman

Why QAnon Survives After Trump


Inauguration Day should have punctured the conspiracy theory at the heart of QAnon.

Adherents of the discredited extremist ideology falsely believe that former President Trump is a savior who will stay in power as he wages a war against a cabal of satanic pedophiles. Indeed, for some believers, who saw President Biden get sworn in instead of Trump, the moment was a reality check.

Yet even with their hero out of office, QAnon's fiercest followers will find a way to adapt to the new reality by clinging onto more lies that suit their movement, says Travis View, who hosts QAnon Anonymous, a podcast that tracks and debunks online conspiracy theories.

"This is not something that is just going to go away," View tells Audie Cornish on All Things Considered.

In fact, the QAnon community has survived multiple unrealized predictions preached on Internet message boards since 2017. That's when its originator, an anonymous individual (or individuals) known as "Q" who purports to have high-level government security clearance, began posting on sites like 4chan. Followers decipher and analyze Q's cryptic online posts to create a false narrative that has spilled into the real world and even fueled violent acts like the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Q hasn't posted since December, as View notes. But steadfast QAnon followers remain energized without any one leader propping up their beliefs, he says.


The QAnon 'Storm' Never Struck. Some Supporters Are Wavering, Others Steadfast


"The belief systems and the conspiracy theories that sustain the movement don't come from Trump or Q or any specific leader — it's sort of crowdsourced and self-generated," View says. "It really is about the community and the feeling that they have some sort of inside information about what's going to happen, so there's really no head of the snake. There's not one thing you can take out that will make the entire movement fizzle."

Inauguration Day — a critical test for the QAnon community — left some believers disillusioned. But for the most part, the conspiracy theorists instead adjusted their expectations, View told The Washington Post.

The evolving movement has embraced new conspiracies, including that Trump will be sworn into office for a second presidential term on March 4.

View has posted screenshots showing exchanges between QAnon supporters as they discuss their delusional beliefs.

"They come to their conclusion first," View says. "They decide what makes them feel best and then they construct conspiracy theories that help them convince themselves why that's true."

"It's really kind of like an improvisational reality building," he continues. "They don't look to the outside world to try and figure out what is true and what is not, and as a consequence, sometimes have to face harsh truths such as the electoral victory of Joe Biden.

Last year, QAnon spread into the mainstream. As president, Trump repeatedly retweeted accounts tied to QAnon. Newly elected Republican Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Lauren Boebert have spoken openly in support of QAnon.

A significant number of Americans say they believe in QAnon conspiracy theories, even after the election. A December NPR/Ipsos poll found that 17% of adults believe that "a group of Satan-worshipping elites who run a child sex ring are trying to control our politics and media" — a foundational falsehood for the QAnon community — while 37% said they didn't know whether the baseless allegation was true or not.

Last month, several rioters wore QAnon insignia as they stormed the U.S. Capitol. In response, mainstream social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook began ratcheting up their crackdown on accounts and pages that espouse QAnon theories — and followers have fled to darker corners of the Internet.

View says there's a misconception that people who believe in QAnon's false claims are simply "stupid" or "uneducated."

"QAnon satisfies needs that we all have," he says. "We all need to have a feeling of significance. We all need to have a feeling of community, and we all need to have some sense of optimism for the future. And if you're not getting that in any other way, then QAnon can fulfill that role."

That's where the danger lies, he says: "Anyone can fall into QAnon."

Matt Ozug, Lee Hale and Courtney Dorning produced and edited this interview for broadcast.


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sandy-2021492
PhD Principal
1  seeder  sandy-2021492    3 weeks ago
A significant number of Americans say they believe in QAnon conspiracy theories, even after the election. A December NPR/Ipsos poll found that 17% of adults believe that "a group of Satan-worshipping elites who run a child sex ring are trying to control our politics and media" — a foundational falsehood for the QAnon community — while 37% said they didn't know whether the baseless allegation was true or not.
 
 
 
devangelical
Masters Expert
1.1  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @1    3 weeks ago

it never ceases to amaze me how some people can be so f'n clueless

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
1.1.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  devangelical @1.1    3 weeks ago

I thought you lived in the USA.

 
 
 
devangelical
Masters Expert
1.1.2  devangelical  replied to  Buzz of the Orient @1.1.1    3 weeks ago

the realization of being surrounded by 70+ million morons is a bit troubling.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Senior Participates
2  Greg Jones    3 weeks ago

The leftist media and the far left true believers will try to milk every bit of press for as long as they can, for this hitherto unknown group of whack jobs that the vast majority of US citizens never heard of.

Not only that, there are not enough of them to make much of a difference in the national scheme of things. Same goes for the Proud Boys and other such bands of misfits.

I find it amusing that the lefties and are all twitter pated about some wacky conspiracy theories, as they seem to have a lot of experience in that regard.

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
2.1  MrFrost  replied to  Greg Jones @2    3 weeks ago
The leftist media and the far left true believers will try to milk every bit of press for as long as they can

Never heard of Benghzi I take it? 

for this hitherto unknown group of whack jobs that the vast majority of US citizens never heard of.

Yea, I heard McCarthy say he has never heard  of "Q" which is as stupid as Sarah Huckabee saying she doesn't know what carbs are. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
PhD Principal
2.1.1  seeder  sandy-2021492  replied to  MrFrost @2.1    3 weeks ago
Never heard of Benghzi I take it? 

Or Hillary's emails.  Or Bill's BJ.

Yea, I heard McCarthy say he has never heard  of "Q"

Yup.  Their golden calf has praised Q for supporting him.  If they haven't heard of Q, they aren't paying attention.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
2.2  pat wilson  replied to  Greg Jones @2    3 weeks ago
Not only that, there are not enough of them to make much of a difference in the national scheme of things. Same goes for the Proud Boys and other such bands of misfits.

They all sure made a difference on 1/6/2021.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     3 weeks ago

There are millons of Qanon followers.  It's hard to believe that people are this frickin' nutty.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
3.1  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Kavika @3    3 weeks ago

Leading to the GOP becoming known as the GQP.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Senior Participates
3.2  Greg Jones  replied to  Kavika @3    3 weeks ago

There are millons of Qanon followers.  It's hard to believe that people are this frickin' nutty.

No, there is not.

 
 
 
Hal A. Lujah
Professor Principal
3.3  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Kavika @3    3 weeks ago

There are millions of people who think church crackers are the flesh of a 2,000 year old dead guy.  Never underestimate the potential stupidity of an average American.

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
4  Tacos!    3 weeks ago

I don't know about the movement, but the bunny is cute.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1  Tessylo  replied to  Tacos! @4    3 weeks ago

Of course you don't!  jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
4.1.1  Tacos!  replied to  Tessylo @4.1    3 weeks ago

I'm really not into a lot of the things you seem to imagine I am.

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
5  Nerm_L    3 weeks ago

Trump didn't create the anon (for anonymous) movement.  Conspiracy theories have received popular followings since the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  The anon movement actually got its start following the Kennedy assassination with conspiracy theories about CIA involvement; the Deep State conspiracy.  Conspiracy theories about Deep State coverup of UFOs are part of the anon movement.  Conspiracy theories about Deep State involvement in the 9/11 terrorist attacks are part of the anon movement.

Qanon has associated (far left?) liberal ideology (and Democrats) with the Deep State.  Liberals and Democrats have only contributed to the conspiracy theories.  Qanon will be with us as long as liberals and Democrats are with us.  The fundamental belief is that far left liberal ideology requires a Deep State to obtain and keep political power.  Now the press, by its own behavior, has become associated with the Deep State, too.  Liberals and Democrats imposing their ideological beliefs upon society using institutions and government have disarmed themselves by feeding the Deep State conspiracy theories.

The more the press colludes with Democrats to assert control over society, the stronger Qanon will become.  Using the Deep State (defined by Qanon) to fight Qanon only recruits more people to the anon movement.  A concerted, organized, and managed narrative by press and politicians is, after all, a conspiracy in simple terms.  Fighting Qanon only proves the point of Qanon.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
PhD Principal
5.1  seeder  sandy-2021492  replied to  Nerm_L @5    3 weeks ago

Sure, Nerm.  Qanon is made up of right wingers, spreading right wing conspiracy theories, aimed at left wingers, and meant to vilify left wingers and prevent them from holding office.  Therefore, it is obviously the liberals' fault it exists.  Not the liars who spout the conspiracy theories, nor the idiots who buy into them, but the people maligned by those liars.  Makes sense jrSmiley_80_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
Nerm_L
Junior Principal
5.1.1  Nerm_L  replied to  sandy-2021492 @5.1    3 weeks ago
Sure, Nerm.  Qanon is made up of right wingers, spreading right wing conspiracy theories, aimed at left wingers, and meant to vilify left wingers and prevent them from holding office.  Therefore, it is obviously the liberals' fault it exists.  Not the liars who spout the conspiracy theories, nor the idiots who buy into them, but the people maligned by those liars.  Makes sense

Someone who believes in Hillary Clinton's 'vast right wing conspiracy' has a much better understanding of Qanon than they realize.

 
 
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