Here’s a look at the QAnon trend that’s sweeping certain dark corners of the internet:

In late October 2017, an anonymous user posted on 4chan, a shadowy site known for, among other things, cruel hoaxes and political extremism. Under the title “The Calm Before the Storm,” the poster claimed to have a high-level government security clearance – Q clearance to be exact – and referred to Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, George Soros, political parties and former President Barack Obama. Q gives readers “breadcrumbs” so they can ferret out details on their own, especially on the so-called deep state. There’s other lingo as well. Bakers are amateur sleuths who follow the crumbs. Anyone who tries to debunk Q is “a clown.” (This includes CIA agents, shadowy operatives and most likely reporters, although there’s separate terminology for them).

So, everybody on the Interwebs talks about Trump, Clinton, Obama and Soros. What makes Q different?

Many on 4chan seemed to enjoy discussing the cryptic posts and the clues, and Q spread like wildfire. Terminology was born. Inside jokes and theories blossomed. Q subreddits swelled to 30,000 followers. Q’s Twitter account has 80,000 followers.

A YouTube video posted by “prayingmedic” on July 28, titled, “Something Big is About to Drop,” has 275,000 views. It is an hour and eight minutes long.

It is unclear if anything actually dropped.

Joseph Uscinski, a University of Miami professor who co-authored the book, “American Conspiracy Theories,” said Q “is just hitting the right audience at the right time given the right circumstance.”

Q’s topics appeal to many who already are inclined to believe conspiracy theories, Uscinski said. Those conspiracy-minded folks have always been around in the country.

“There is no way to know if it’s an embedded deep state operative or if it’s a prankster,” he added.

– Associated Press

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.