QAnon Conspiracy Theory: Examining its Evolution and Mechanisms of Radicalization

Amanda Garry, Samantha Walther, Rukaya Rukaya, Ayan Mohammed

Abstract


This report demonstrates the overarching need for additional exploration and intervention of conspiracy-based radicalization as the QAnon conspiracy theory continues to grow. Strong pillars of belief among the QAnon movement, coupled with the spread of disinformation online, has exacerbated the familiarity and willingness to accept the rhetoric within mainstream media and culture. This report examines the evolution, ideologies, and paradigms associated with supporters of QAnon to better understand the most influential mechanisms of modern conspiracy-based radicalization. Utilizing a France-based digital disinformation platform known as Storyzy, the authors hypothesize that disinformation campaigns, coupled with the Internet and social media, has greatly enabled the unprecedented global effect of QAnon. The authors explored the potential of several survey methods to seek insights from QAnon followers on Gab and Telegram. Additionally, the authors discerned various implications of QAnon in regard to the limitations placed upon P/CVE efforts.

 

Editoral Note:

After critique against this article has been voiced publicly, an editorial review together with the authors was conducted. No factual errors were found. However, some need for clarifications of potentially misleading sentence formulations was identified and minor post-publication revisions were conducted, which are detailed in the supporting material file.


Keywords


QAnon; Conspiracy Theory; Conspiracy-Based Radicalization; Right-Wing Extremism; Social Media; Disinformation; Telegram; Gab

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