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Month: May 2021

How Q’s “Lost Drops” Undermine the QAnon Myth

This piece first appeared at Bellingcat. It’s reproduced here with permission. I made a few edits and additions, most notably spelling out the full list of slurs that Q quoted (but didn’t rebuke) when writing one of the lost drops. I also added a few sentences to contextualize the slurs and explain why they’re significant. Because there is a full, unfiltered, unbowdlerized list of slurs in the piece, here’s a content warning: this post contains dehumanizing, demeaning quotes from 4chan users. I included this language to show the reader what 4chan really is, and to illustrate the kind of sewer Q was doggy-paddling around in. ———————————————————————————————————————– To earnest believers in QAnon, Q is a mythical figure of near-infinite power. Some are even convinced that Q — purportedly a government insider with privileged insight into the US “deep state” — can foretell the future. However, newly rediscovered writings from the conspiracy’s earliest days reveal a very different image of Q. These texts were written by Q, and were initially spotted by users on the imageboard first frequented by Q. In many instances, they include text identical to posts universally acknowledged as being authored by Q — yet they never entered the…

The Making of QAnon: A Crowdsourced Conspiracy

My essay outlining QAnon’s roots in 4chan culture first appeared at Bellingcat on January 7th, 2021. I’ve reproduced the text with permission (and made a minor edit to a line that never quite sat right with me). CONTENT WARNING: This document contains quotes from 4chan, which means it also contains slurs. I’ve left them unedited to convey the real tone of 4chan — it’s a racist, bilious place, and readers should feel that in their gut. ********************************************************************************************************** On January 6, chaos descended on Washington D.C. as supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the United States Capitol Building. Amid the melee, a longtime QAnon promoter known as “the Q Shaman” made his way onto the Senate floor and occupied the speaker’s rostrum. He was far from the only QAnon supporter on the scene that day: another led the charge into the Capitol. Once again, this dangerous and eclectic conspiracy is in the spotlight. It has come a long way since its birth on a forum barely three years ago. On October 28, 2017, an anonymous user browsing the /pol/ section of 4chan, a notorious alt-right imageboard, saw a post that read, “Hillary Clinton will be arrested between 7:45 AM — 8:30 AM EST on Monday — the…