QAnon Conspiracies Show Organic Growth Capability with Multi-layered Digital Infrastructure
QAnon infrastructure and Modus Operandi drive a horizontally controlled, organically self-sustaining user community. While the group behind QAnon is seeding the direction of the narrative, the content is produced by followers leveraging infrastructure that cannot be directly tied to the original QAnon group and that appears to be maintained by followers.
This Modus Operandi (M.O.) empowers QAnon’s adaptability to recent events against the group, such as censorship on social media platforms. QAnon has moved from fringe to mainstream and its content is now appearing and being distributed in sites not directly linked to the QAnon phenomenon and narrative.
QAnon is capable of influencing the focus and narrative of millions of people. Narratives could be weaponized to threaten a broad range of individuals and organizations as followers become radicalized via an increasingly hostile and violent narrative.
QAnon, from Fringe to Mainstream
QAnon is led by an unidentified individual or collective operating under a public alias known as “Q.” Q’s posts started appearing in October 2017 in the anonymous image board 4Chan. Q presented himself as a high-ranking official within the US government willing to disclose ‘classified’ information closely related to the actions of Donald Trump through a publicly accessible forum.
The narrative and related content published by Q revolves around the following tale: Donald Trump is secretly fighting members of the US and global elite who are part of a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles controlling the world and running a global child sex-trafficking ring.
There are no definite figures about the number of QAnon followers, but they are now estimated globally in the millions. Translation services provided by QAnon infrastructure and its adaptation of the narrative to local issues support a global outreach.
While QAnon’s focus has been strictly political until recently, some of its followers are potentially a threat to public or private organizations that Q and its distributed narrative deems malicious. The past two years have seen car chases, kidnappings, armed stand offs…