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QAnon Conspiracy Theory Helped Shape US Capitol Insurrection

January 14th, 2021 14:50

US media is report­ing on how the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry known as QAnon helped to influ­ence the vio­lent events at the US Capi­tol build­ing last week. Accord­ing to The Wash­ing­ton Post report:

Jan­u­ary 13, 2021 The siege on the U.S. Capi­tol played out as a QAnon fan­ta­sy made real: The faith­ful rose up in their thou­sands, sum­moned to Wash­ing­ton by their leader, Pres­i­dent Trump. They seized the people’s house as politi­cians cow­ered under desks. Hordes wear­ing T‑shirts embla­zoned with the “Q” sym­bol and tot­ing Trump flags closed in to deliv­er jus­tice, armed with zip-tie hand­cuffs and rope and guns. The “#Storm” envi­sioned on far-right mes­sage boards had arrived. And two women who had died in the ram­page — both QAnon devo­tees — had become what some were call­ing the first mar­tyrs of the cause. The siege end­ed with police retak­ing the Capi­tol and Trump being rebuked and los­ing his Twit­ter account. But the failed insur­rec­tion illus­trat­ed how the para­noid con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry QAnon has rad­i­cal­ized Amer­i­cans, reshaped the Repub­li­can Par­ty and gained a force­ful grip on right-wing belief.Born in the Internet’s fever swamps, QAnon played an unmis­tak­able role in ener­giz­ing riot­ers dur­ing the real-world attack on Jan. 6. A man in a “Q” T‑shirt led the breach of the Sen­ate, while a shirt­less, fur-clad believ­er known as the “Q Shaman” posed for pho­tog­ra­phers in the Sen­ate cham­ber. Twit­ter lat­er purged more than 70,000 accounts asso­ci­at­ed with the con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry, in an acknowl­edg­ment of the online poten­cy of QAnon.

Read the rest here.

The Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed ear­li­er this week that Twit­ter had removed the accounts of high-pro­file sup­port­ers of Pres­i­dent Trump who pro­mot­ed the QAnon con­spir­a­cy the­o­ry. We report­ed ear­li­er this month on the influ­ence of QAnon on the Repub­li­can Par­ty and that Mar­jorie Tay­lor Greene, a new­ly elect­ed mem­ber of the US House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, is a sup­port­er of QAnon.

We report­ed in Octo­ber that Russia’s Inter­net Research Agency troll farm was attempt­ing to use social media accounts to boost the role of con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries pro­mot­ed by QAnon.

We also report­ed in Octo­ber that YouTube had joined Face­book and oth­er social media com­pa­nies in tak­ing action against QAnon.