Vladimir Putin taking off watch


Putin’s Q Drop

Did Putin's watch send a secret message?


David Covucci


Posted on Feb 16, 2024   Updated on Feb 15, 2024, 11:23 am CST

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) Putin’s Q Drop

Last week, Tucker Carlson shared his interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, one of the first in-depth interviews of the leader since his country invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

Numerous liberal watchdogs warned the interview would be propaganda, that Carlson would allow Putin to spew whatever rhetoric needed to influence the West into … well, unclear. People were freaking out that somehow a video of a world president might secretly brainwash the U.S. populace.

And, well, it certainly brainwashed the already brainwashed, who divined a secret communique in Putin’s interview. That of a watch Putin takes off and plays next to a pen.

The claim first percolated on the Telegram channel for Ghost Ezra, a prominent Q pusher.

“At exactly 17 seconds into the Tucker Carlson interview, Putin took off his black leather band watch and placed it on the table next to a pen. Q Drop 2647 has an image of a black leather band watch and a pen. It says: The clock is ticking.”

In the interview with Carlson, Putin is asked first about his position on the Ukraine invasion, and he begins by taking off his watch. Just like the Q posters claim, he places it next to pens.

The claim migrated to Truth Social, where it was met with shock and urgency.

“THIS IS CRAZY!!  PUTIN GAVE US A COMM!!, wrote @RealAFPatriot.  

What might that comm be, though? Extremely unclear, as most respondents were just amazed it was proof QAnon, the secretive online poster with supposed ties to the Trump administration, predicted it.

“Most definitely 100% a Q proof. Everything is scripted. Years in the making. Military precision at its finest,” said one.

Some divined, though, that the time on the watch might be the answer.

“My thought is the time is a date marker. On 3/15 the government assistance (bailouts) to the banks ends. The banks will begin failing after that date.

Will the banks fail one month from now? And if so, why would Putin be warning a mostly U.S. crowd? Questions remain, but one person in the comments thought it had an unfortunately more mundane explanation.

With the watch face on the table toward him, Putin could keep track of the time without having to glance at his wrist.

2) 4chan’s literary critics

You can be forgiven for not knowing that 4chan, the internet’s actual basement, which emanates a foul stench across the web, had a literary criticism hub.

If /pol/ is the troll haven known for memeing Donald Trump into the Oval Office, /lit/ is its more couth brother, a smoking jacket to a MAGA hat, a copy of the Divine Comedies to a Pepe meme, as polished as one can be while still calling Hemingway a gay slur (not for his love of men, but because his writing sucked).

But a thread on the fourm has spiraled out of control after someone posted a woman wearing Joker paint and dubbed it “man writing about love.”

Is the man a clown for writing about love, because that’s stupid? Is the man secretly a woman for writing about love, because that’s stupid?

These are the kind of thought experiments that keep literal scholars up at night.

Unfortunately, the thread didn’t dwell much on the idea of women writing love scenes, but rather on women being entirely incapable of love, thanks to one despondent poster who hijacked the thread.

“Women cant love like men … Most every guy has experienced the wrath of a woman; one day they lose feelings, gradually, or suddenly on a whim. They are capricious, with no sense of justice, they are masters of cunning and deceit in ways most men aren’t. They initiate something like 70-80 percent divorces. Most women have a ‘back up’ boyfriend in every relationship they get into just in case. They are ruthless, and society, feminism, liberal values engenders them to be the worst versions of themselves.”

Bummer, especially if true, which the site’s nihilistic base seemed to think it is.

“Society has decided to let women indulge in their base nature, while men still face the consequences of engaging in theirs,” said one.

“I’m not sure if women are actually capable of love. It seems as though when women talk about love, the feeling that they’re actually referring to is a kind of deep peacefulness stemming from them knowing that their mate is competent and capable enough in dealing with life’s obstacles, added another.

The thread even broke contain, blowing up on X, where it was dubbed a “truth nuke” that goes “scorched earth.”

Maybe the boys of /lit/ should just stick to Tom Clancy

3) Lloyd Austin’s secret ear

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin has been subjected to endless conspiracies about his unreported leave of absence and hospitalization, which he later revealed was to receive treatment for prostate cancer.



What if it was a very very minor cosmetic ear alteration? Some people seem very convinced that since leaving the hospital, his ear is just a bit different.

As Q might say, are you listening now?

4) NHL highlight of the week

Artturi Lehkonen’s through-the-legs, backward, no-look assist to Mikko Rantanen.

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
Share this article
*First Published: Feb 16, 2024, 6:00 am CST