All For A LARP: QAnon Has A Run In With The Mob
The QAnon community resists being understood by being incoherent. It’s usually pretty effective.
People in the QAnon community want to be noticed. This is why they assert themselves by wearing Q T-shirts at public events and post “Q sent me” whenever Q links to a particular tweet. But they’re also resentful of attention from outsiders. This is why they say “Why do you care about a conspiracy theory?” whenever their claims are scrutinized.
QAnon believers ask me why I care if people believe insane horseshit: an ongoing series. pic.twitter.com/LvUHhLV1MV
— Travis View (@travis_view) September 15, 2018
They want to feel important and influential. This is why they, in repeating a mantra handed to them by Q, say “we are the news now.” But they show no desire to assume the responsibilities that are part of being influential — responsibilities such as verifying the accuracy of a claim before asserting it.
They want to feel informed — more informed than the regular masses. This is why the often baselessly boast that they knew about news events weeks or months ahead of time. But they typically shun mainstream media sources, so they’re often not even be aware of what was reported prior to “Q drops.”
Why Q tells its followers not to pay attention to the media.
1. Rips information from an article.
2. Writes it in a Q Drop “predicting something”.
3. Posts previous Q Drop to prove “insider knowledge”.
4. Fools followers into believing its a Q Proof.
Rinse and Repeat. pic.twitter.com/xV4tkKksXl
— JB 🍦🍦™ (@CatcherJb) March 23, 2019
Individual Q followers are often erratic, combative, and irrational online. It would be nice to believe that this is just a fringe belief that is quarantined in platforms like Twitter, Voat, and 8chan. But QAnon still, unfortunately, spills out in the real world occasionally.
Here’s how QAnon escaped the online bubble and affected the world we live in for the past week.
Accused Killer Of Mafia Boss Was “Researching QAnon Online” According To Police Sources
Anthony Comello, 24, is suspected of gunning down mafia kingpin Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali. Cali was the reputed boss of the Gambino crime family.
During Comello’s courtroom appearance on March 19, he held up his left palm to reveal a large “Q” written in blue ink. The Q on his palm was surrounded by the phrases “MAGA Forever,” “United We Stand” and “Patriots in Charge USA.” The latter phrase may be a variation of the QAnon slogan “Patriots in control.” Law enforcement sources told the New York Post that Comello “has been researching QAnon online.”
My guesses at what Anthony Comello has written on his hand. QAnon has never used the phrase “Patriots in Charge,” but “United We Stand” is in a bunch of drops. Also, “Q sent me” is what anyone who gets a tweet highlighted by Q gets spammed into their mentions. pic.twitter.com/6Jnl6hu5gI
— Mike Rothschild (@rothschildmd) March 18, 2019
Comello is not the first QAnon follower to be accused of murder. Earlier this year, Buckey Wolfe, a self-proclaimed Proud Boy who also researched QAnon online, allegedly killed his brother with a sword because he thought his brother was “lizard.” However, Comello is notable in that he seemed eager to make his interest in QAnon known.
Meanwhile, “Q” has acknowledged the connection to the Mafia case but claims, predictably, that it’s just a deep-state setup. Law enforcement sources told @nypost that the suspect has been researching QAnon. pic.twitter.com/6DXuCr2vea
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) March 18, 2019
Comello is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, on Monday.
Trump Retweets A Tweet From A QAnon Twitter Account And Fox News Features A Qanon Account
On Sunday, March 17 President Trump, not for the first time, retweeted a tweet from a pro-QAnon Twitter account. If we’re counting quote tweets, this would actually mark the fourth time. However, this is the first time that Trump retweeted an account with a “Q” in the avi and “WWG1WGA” in the bio.
Unsurprisingly, many in the QAnon community found this very validating.
Trump retweeted an account with a QAnon avatar today, and QAnon fans are thrilled. pic.twitter.com/uZauubWrNU
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) March 17, 2019
The same day, however, Trump retweeted Jack Posobiec twice, who notably is very much anti-QAnon.
Did the QAnon community take the Posobiec tweets as a sign that Trump is disconfirming QAnon? Of course not. Since QAnon is essentially a giant online game of Calvinball and they make up the rules as they go along, they feel no obligation to keep their reasoning consistent.
QAnon also got a mainstream boost from Fox News. On March 22nd, during a segment on “Fox and Friends First” about a recent executive order, Fox News reporter Carly Shimkus brought up a tweet from QAnon account QAnon76 and read it as evidence of support for a recent Executive Order.
A tweet from one of the largest QAnon Twitter accounts was featured on Fox News this morning. Though the tweet itself didn’t reference QAnon. pic.twitter.com/bQK8hYpxA3
— Travis View (@travis_view) March 22, 2019
The tweet itself didn’t reference QAnon, but the QAnon community took it as a mainstream endorsement of QAnon. They’re happy to recieve any attention they can get.
South Carolina State Representative Endorses, Then Unendorses, QAnon
South Carolina State Rep. Lin Bennett, a Charleston Republican, posted support for QAnon on Facebook. She called one QAnon post “a gem” and another “interesting.” She vouched for theory backers, saying “They’re legit,” and used the QAnon phrase, “Panic in DC,” in two separate posts. This is probably the most powerful elected official to endorse QAnon.
However, after the Daily Beast article was published, Lin Bennett told a local paper, the Post and Courier “I am not a follower of QAnon.” She told the paper that she dismissed QAnon because none of the predictions about the Mueller probe were coming true and that QAnon was not a reliable source.
tfw QAnon is not as "legit" as you assumed pic.twitter.com/L0MxJtlYkm
— Travis View (@travis_view) March 24, 2019
So perhaps there’s hope for QAnon followers who aren’t hoping for reelection.
Founder of 8chan Expresses Regret In the Wake of New Zealand Massacre
The home base of QAnon is 8chan, specifically the /qresearch/ board. 8chan has always been a source of controversy, ever since it’s userbase swelled thanks to “gamergate.” But in recent days 8chan received newfound scrutiny after it was used by the terrorist who killed 50 people in two New Zealand Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The shooter posted the message of 8chan’s /pol/ board, not the /qresearch/ board, and there is no evidence that he is even aware of QAnon. However, the incident has caused many to question the kind of culture that thrives on 8chan — including the creator of the site.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Fredrick Brennan, aka “Hotwheels,” expressed remorse over creating 8chan.
Brennan, who hasn’t been associated with the site since December, said he believed 8chan’s administrators were too slow to remove the post from the shooter. That, along with the posts on 8chan praising the terrorist’s actions, have persuaded Brennan that the toxic, white-supremacist culture that thrives on parts of the site might someday be linked to another violent incident.
He said from his home in the Philippines: “It was very difficult in the days that followed to know that I had created that site. It wouldn’t surprise me if this happens again.”