This morning, Gab subscribers woke to a lengthy email diatribe from CEO Andrew Torba validating QAnon and claiming that the doubters are the real conspiracy theorists.
QAnon is a conspiracy theory that the world is controlled by a shadowy network of Satanic pedophiles who sacrifice children, drink their blood, wear their skin, and are addicted to a fictitious drug called adrenochrome that is supposedly harvested from their brains. They believe this cabal includes Democrats, entertainers, and the "deep state," and that a secretive government insider known as Q feeds them clues on 8kun.
It is, in a word, nonsense. Nevertheless, in the three years since its founding, QAnon has attracted millions from all over the globe.
Gab, long a haven for the dregs of the far-right, such as the Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooter, has flirted with QAnon before. Torba's letter is the most public declaration of outright support for the conspiracy theory, however.
Torba's letter, which he also posted in a blog on Nov. 30, was prompted by Business Insider reporter Yelena Dzhanova emailing Torba for comment on an upcoming story about prominent QAnon supporters, which he would be included in because he "welcomed QAnon accounts to move over to Gab after Facebook's ban."
Torba prefaces his response by claiming that Bussiness Insider is "working on a major hit piece attacking everyone and anyone connected to the community of millions of great patriots who are seeking the truth outside of legacy media narratives." (Torba likes to construe stories as hit pieces that really aren't, such as the recent Vice News piece about a former Facebook software engineer becoming Gab's chief technology officer.)
Torba rants that QAnon isn't a conspiracy theory, but a "decentralized community of millions of people who are researching and reporting on news that so-called 'journalists' refuse to cover."
As proof of journalists' refusal to cover the "wicked and corrupt" oligarchs, Torba points to billionaire Jeffrey Epstein, the sex offender whose exploits were outed by the Miami Herald.
Intriguingly, Torba expresses doubt that Q is real, but says it isn't important. "That part may or may not be true, but I don’t think it really matters either way," he writes.
Torba then claims that the media maligns QAnon because it views it as direct competition over the flow of information, and also because they're Christians.
"Ultimately what the anti-Christian legacy press and the wicked oligarchs in power fear the most is Christians coordinating and unifying on the internet." When this happens, he says, "their evil will be exposed and their names will be named." He claims avoiding this is the real purpose of coronavirus-control measures, such as the limits on church services that the U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down.
Many laughed it off. David Gilbert of Vice News tweeted sarcastically that the way the media portrays the conspiracy has "nothing to do with QAnon's baseless claims that Democrats and Hollywood elite are global, Satanic, cannibalistic child sex trafficking ring."
One Twitter user pointed out that Torba's missive is likely an effort to persuade QAnon followers to join Gab, which is increasingly losing the battle to become the favored social media haven for right-wing outcasts to Parler.
Torba's fans were thrilled by the attention, as was he.
"Our enemies are very, very mad about my reply to the Business Insider hit piece," Torba wrote on Gab, along with a screenshot of Gilbert's tweets. "This pleases me."