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Dispatches From the Culture Wars - QAnon, the Party of Paranoia

QAnon has grown from an internet joke to a national political threat - and fuels emerging fascism on the march behind Trump

A Donald Trump supporter holding a QAnon flag visits Mount Rushmore National Monument on July 1, 2020 in Keystone, S.D., Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images file

The Online Church of Conspiracy

By Ryan W. Miller
August 13, 2020
USA Today

A far-right candidate with ties to QAnon won a Republican primary runoff election. The QAnon conspiracy theory baselessly claims that there is a “deep state” apparatus run by political elites, business leaders and Hollywood celebrities who are also pedophiles and actively working against Trump.

Understanding the Politics

By Brian Stelter
August 15, 2020

It is a dangerous, fully immersive alternative reality that is inspiring its followers to plan domestic terrorist attacks. QAnon has been supported, amplified, and winked at enough by far-right Republicans — the president and his sons, Michael Flynn, the freedom caucus — that dozens of candidates for office are using it to reach potential voters.

Ill Come Cut Your Head Off

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By Ali Breland
August 6, 2020
Mother Jones

A California State Senator introduced a bill pushing LGBTQ equality—and a QAnon mob came for him. Instagram users unleashed a homophobic and anti-Semitic harassment campaign.

The Texas GOP

By Ciara O'Rourke
July 2, 2020
Texas Monthly

Recasting the pandemic as a Democrat-sponsored hoax is one way QAnon supporters are connecting with new audiences. Meet the Republican candidates and elected officials in Texas promoting QAnon.

QAnon and Covid

By Ben Collins
August 14, 2020
NBC News

And while anti-mask sentiment has surfaced in a variety of ways for a number of reasons, viral videos of anti-mask confrontations have become causes for celebration in conspiracy circles, embraced as examples of people taking the fight against their shadowy enemy into the real world.

QAnon and Islamophobia

By Sheren Khalel
July 29, 2020
Middle East Eye

One of QAnon’s most recent memes depicts an imagined trajectory that takes place over the course of four years. The first panel in the image shows a woman wearing a surgical mask, the next a cloth mask, before ending with a woman wearing a full burka. 

Millions on Facebook

By Ari Sen and Brandy Zadrozny
August 10, 2020
NBC News

Facebook has been key to QAnon’s growth, in large part due to the platform’s Groups feature, which has also seen a significant uptick in use since the social network began emphasizing it in 2017.

The Child Exploitation Issue

By Kevin Roose
August 12, 2020
New York Times

QAnon seeks to create a groundswell of concern by flooding social media with posts about human trafficking, joining parenting Facebook groups and glomming on to hashtag campaigns like #SaveTheChildren, which began as a legitimate fund-raising campaign for the Save the Children charity.