Down the rabbit hole: how QAnon conspiracies thrive on Facebook - 2020-06-25
In early May, QAnon braced for a purge. Facebook had removed a small subset – five pages, six groups and 20 profiles – of the community on the social network, and as word of the bans spread, followers of Q began preparing for a broader sweep.
Some groups changed their names, substituting "17" for "Q" (the 17th letter of the alphabet); others shared links to back-up accounts on alternative social media platforms with looser rules.
More than just another internet conspiracy theory, QAnon is a movement of people who interpret as a kind of gospel the online messages of an anonymous figure – "Q" – who claims knowledge of a secret cabal of powerful pedophiles and sex traffickers. Within the constructed reality of QAnon, Donald Trump is secretly waging a patriotic crusade against these "deep state" child abusers, and a "Great Awakening" that will reveal the truth is on the horizon.