If you were watching President Donald Trump’s rally in Tampa Bay, Florida on Tuesday, you might have noticed members of the crowd wearing t-shirts bearing a large Q. Others waved signs with the slogan “We are Q” printed on them.For many, the shirts and signs, which refer to a wide-ranging and long-running conspiracy theory known as QAnon, provoked curiosity and surprise. Twitter, fascinated by its sudden emergence into the mainstream, lit up with messages about Q.QAnon is bizarre, even by the already-warped yardstick of conspiracy theories. It brings together Trump, special counsel Robert Mueller and, of course, the Clintons. Oh, and the Deep State. There’s a lot about the Deep State.If all of this is new to you, it’s time to enter the world of QAnon. Because even if the shirts were worn ironically, the influence of the QAnon conspiracy theory has reached the real world.Who or what is QAnon?In October 2017, a user going by the name “Q” began posting to 4chan’s /pol/ message board. You may know /pol/ as a far-right board, famous mostly as an online swap meet for Pepe memes. But /pol/ — and related communities on 8chan, Reddit and Twitter — can be incubators for… Read full this story
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