Deplatformed is a weekly column that looks into the nether reaches of the internet—outside the big few that everyone already covers—to tell you the political discourse online. It runs on Thursdays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.
1) Elon Musk’s pizza pill
Several separate events combined to light afire the nether reaches of the internet, where the QAnon movement still lingers, reinvigorating a conspiracy that laid dormant after being booted from mainstream social media networks.
The GreatAwakening.win is a popular QAnon message board, which pushes the long-held belief that the Democratic party is infested with pedophiles and that the media works to protect them.
And for those who believe it to be true, a Democrat and media member getting arrested for child porn is more than enough fuel to send the embers ablaze.
Suddenly, the board is “in a better position to red pill normies … than any time in the past.”
PizzaGate is back.
This week, the former mayor of the University of Maryland’s hometown, College Park, pled guilty to over 140 counts of possession and distribution of child porn. And Slade Sohmer, the editor-in-chief of left-leaning news outlet the Recount, was arrested on charges of possession and distribution of child porn.
And it wasn’t exactly hard for far-right internet sleuths to suss out ties to the notorious cabal former President Donald Trump allegedly worked to take down. Wojahn called Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg a “buddy” and posted numerous pictures of the two.
For Sohmer, an old tweet of his earned thanks from former Clinton aide, John Podesta, who has long been at the center of the conspiracy.
“Party of Pedophilia,” declared one thread.
Media Matters was cofounded by David Brock, who once dated the owner of Comet Ping Ping, which is where the whole PizzaGate party started.
Musk replied to a post about the connection by simply commenting “weird,” a tease right out of the QAnon playbook, cryptic and insinuative.
It was, in their mind, just like their former leader.
“He sets it up. Gets people to look at his neutral reply, then everyone replies to him with pie gate stuff, thus he helps red pill indirectly,” wrote one.
“Eventually, Elon’s name is going to be included in the same paragraphs as Trump, Rogers and Flynn. He is a needed asset in the psy-op. He is considered a genius by the normies. Someone with impeccable intelligence, drive and judgment,” wrote another.
Meanwhile on a separate but similar forum, Patriots.win, the far-right movement adjacent but apart of the hardcore Q believers echoed the same sentiment in threads.
2) FBI’s Jan. 6 ‘murders’
Meanwhile, new House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) delivered on a longtime demand of the far-right, to release hours of footage from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which would prove claims it was nothing more than a peaceful protest.
Now, some people watching it think it’s indicative enough to charge the feds with murder.
One video, in particular, has galvanized viewers, that of Matthew Perna, who was shown walking in the Capitol halls in a red sweatshirt.
“Murder charges should be brought against DOJ.” demanded one.
Perna pled guilty to his initial charges against him, several counts of trespassing and disrupting a public proceeding. He also said he used a metal pole to hit a window at the Capitol.
According to his family—though it’s unclear if this is true—the DOJ said they would apply a terrorism enhancement to increase his sentence and he could face up to nine years. In the wake of that, he committed suicide.
Perna himself said he was in the Capitol for around 5-10 minutes. The footage the far-right is rallying around specifically shows him for only a couple seconds, walking the hallways.
But to some people that’s enough, proof the FBI is guilty of a mass round-up, illegal prosecution, and now murder.
“Say their names… Matthew Perna. Jord Meachum. Mark Aungst. Chris Stanton. These are just some of the J/6 defendants that have taken their own lives. The #DOJ, #FBI, #media, and the entire #Jan6committee has blood on its hands.
3) 4channers are trying to freeze themselves to death
A poster on 4chan is trying to see just how cold they can make their home without dying, an experiment others on the site are cheering.
“I’m conducting an experiment to see how low it can go vs how long I can tolerate it without turning on the heat.
The thermostat in the image is set to 17 degrees Celsius, which is 62.6 Fahrenheit. Most modern homes are set to around 70 degrees.
But others are trying to push them even further, and bragging about just how low they can go.
“I have gotten it down to 57F in my apartment before. I have the heater valved off in my room and I sleep with the window open.”
“I went without heat or air conditioning for the 5 years before I got married a year ago, only heating my bathroom when the pipes threatened to freeze.”
“You are not on this world for comfort, so why do you desire it? You are here for labor.”