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It is often seen as an endorsement when the President of the United States retweets just about any account online–which is why it matters that President Donald Trump just retweeted a major QAnon account to his 60 million followers on Saturday.
The conspiracy theory account is dubbed “Deep State Exposed.” The tweet includes an unverifiable captioned video regarding Islam, with the intended purpose of spreading Islamophobia. The video has now been viewed a whopping half-million times.
“Whoa a president retweeted this,” one person said in the comments. “Holy shit that’s astonishing. That the president would repeat this, I mean. Yikes. No sense of history whatsoever,” another said.
The account boasts that it has been retweeted by the president nine times now in its Twitter bio.
The person behind the account, who has come to be known as “Q,” has claimed to be a high-level government insider. There are now a plethora of QAnon conspiracy accounts that digitally push out conspiracy theories and extremist messages on different social media platforms.
Reddit banned QAnon conspiracy subreddits in 2018 for “inciting violence, harassment, and the dissemination of personal information.” Trump’s QAnon retweet comes just two days after Facebook and Instagram banned a string of far-right media figures in order to limit hate speech, misinformation, violent threats, and conspiracy theories. Twitter has remained silent regarding QAnon.
QAnon started as a fringe, one-person endeavor, but has since swelled into a pro-Trump movement brought into the mainstream by Trump supporters. Now Trump is giving legitimacy to the baseless movement through his retweets.
The Daily Dot has reached out to Twitter for comment.
Eilish O'Sullivan is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot studying journalism and government at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and the Daily Texan.