How Fringe Groups Are Using QAnon to Amplify Their Wild Messages - 2019-02-20

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F375.png How Fringe Groups Are Using QAnon to Amplify Their Wild Messages February 20, 2019, Kelly Weill, Daily Beast

Germany's politics are being manipulated online. But the perpetrators aren't the much-talked-about Russian trolls accused of meddling in U.S. elections. They aren't bot accounts, either. They're conspiracy theorists riding on an American hoax.

The far-right QAnon conspiracy theory falsely accuses virtually all President Donald Trump's foes of being involved in a Satanic pedophilia and cannibalism ring. Its nebulous nature, branches of which include belief in time travel and reptilians, makes it a prime conspiracy theory for paranoid Americans. But the German far right—or at least people who support it—are jumping on the U.S.-based theory, according to a new study by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, an anti-extremism think tank. Now those troll armies are using QAnon as a megaphone for their own causes.

"We came across new international far-right networks that are active in Germany, promoting the far right's political and cultural agenda and attacking the AfD's [far-right party Alternative for Germany] political opponents," the ISD study's authors wrote. "The US-based conspiracy network QAnon has emboldened a German version, linking violent and anti-democratic conspiracy theories across the Atlantic."

Wikipedia cite:
{{cite news | author = Kelly Weill | title = How Fringe Groups Are Using QAnon to Amplify Their Wild Messages | url = https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-fringe-groups-are-using-qanon-to-amplify-their-wild-messages | work = Daily Beast | date = February 20, 2019 | accessdate = February 25, 2019 }}