Why Experts Are Worried About The QAnon Conspiracy Theory

Inquisitr Staff

The QAnon conspiracy theory is showing up more Donald Trump MAGA rallies than it ever has before, and with more prominent displays of signs and merchandise. While the conspiracy theory is largely panned by the press and even a fair amount of Trump supporters, the longer Trump plays to that extreme base that has bought into it lock, stock, and barrel, the more converts it is picking up, and the more dangerous it is becoming. The first sign that began worrying many experts, is that people into QAnon don't recognize it as a conspiracy theory. They talk about it in terms of it being a movement, a prophecy, and their American duty.

The entire QAnon narrative started from a Trump Quip and then evolved into something that was just for the lulz on 4chan, 8chan, and eventually Reddit, seeing how many people would buy into it. The more people that got involved following it, the more outrageous it got. According to TIME, depending on which message board you follow, it explains the state of the economy, the sinking of the Titanic, even that Robert Mueller is working in cahoots with Trump to ferret out the liberal elites for trial and punishment. The ambiguity of the clues ensures that anything a person wants the clues to mean, they can mean.

Social media, particularly Facebook as of late, has proved to be the perfect incubator for QAnon, with countless groups springing up to spread the word of QAnon, and for "bakers" as they call themselves, to share theories. According to Quartz, it has also allowed for adding people to those groups and linking them into existing groups supporting Trump to spread the conspiracy theory even farther. The use of Facebook rather than the chans, Reddit, or even Twitter, allows the theory to reach the average Trump voter more effectively than any other platform. The Chicago Post posited that the QAnon conspiracy theory allows people who feel helpless get a sense of control over something, but it comes at a price.

"Conspiracy theories, various experts say, grow out of the mind's need to feel something other than helpless in the face of a changing and complicated world. But the appeal of such mindsets can encourage the unhinged to act in ways that can pose a danger to the rest of us."

"You don't know who is spreading [the conspiracies] and why, or who is picking them up and why. You can't really confront the people who are responsible for these to their face or on social media, because you don't know who is doing it."

"Trump hasn't talked about Q specifically, but the popularity of Q probably owes something to Trump's general usage of conspiracy theories — on the campaign trail, in speeches, in tweets and so on. People's idea of what are acceptable political beliefs depends, to some extent, on what kind of cues they get from political elites. Trump is, by usual standards of U.S. politics, quite a conspiracy theorist. So it makes sense that his base has followed suit."