"QAnon" Takes Hold in the United States Aug 23, 2020 0:06:19 GMT
Post by Admin on Aug 23, 2020 0:06:19 GMT
Hundreds of believers of the dangerous conspiracy theory QAnon rallied in Hollywood on Saturday, just days after President Donald Trump praised the cult-like group.
The demonstration, purported to be about bringing awareness to child sex trafficking, was largely an opportunity for supporters of QAnon to spread various unfounded conspiracy theories; the group has co-opted anti-trafficking messaging to draw more people into its conspiratorial web. Most demonstrators did not wear masks as they marched through Los Angeles, where thousands of people have died from COVID-19.
QAnon believers follow the postings of “Q,” an anonymous individual who claims to be a high-ranking official working with Trump to take down a supposed cabal of Satanic-worshipping pedophiles who have breached the highest levels of government, media and entertainment. Though that appears to be the primary belief of QAnon supporters, followers often fold in a wide array of other baseless conspiracy theories. No matter how wild or absurd the theory, QAnon embraces it all.
More than 200 Facebook and Instagram events called for demonstrators to spread awareness about child sex trafficking across the U.S. on Saturday, as NBC News first reported. Though this appears to be a worthy cause, something more sinister is at play.
“This is not about pedophilia,” Whitney Phillips, an assistant professor of communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse University, told NBC News. “This is not about child protection. This is about a conspiracy theory that’s trying to couch itself in other terms to get more people involved and sympathetic.”