Qanon 4 Years Later

You don’t know Q

From its rise out of the swamps of 4chan to the movement’s assault on the U.S. Capitol, you might think the entire story of QAnon has been told. But it hasn’t. Its origin stories are massive, its tentacles of conspiratorial thinking sprawling into every segment of our lives today. There’s so much more to Q than you know. But four years in, one thing is for certain: It is here to stay.

Q is no longer a conspiracy. It’s a political movement. Within the group, there’s a saying: “Future proves past.” We’re here to show that QAnon’s past portends its future.

Today is the fourth anniversary of the very first QAnon drop on 4chan. To mark the anniversary, the Daily Dot is telling stories about Q that haven’t been looked at. From the role an unknown, blockchain-based social network played in its rise to its ties to the earliest and most vicious internet trolling campaigns, there’s so much more to Q than you think you know.

Today, the Daily Dot is here to show you.

QAnon is now too big to fail

QAnon is now a movement that is too big to be banned, too diffuse to be debunked, and too popular to be written off as part of the fringe. The fringe is now mainstream.

By Mike Rothschild

How an unknown, blockchain-based social media platform fueled QAnon’s rise

The earliest participants in QAnon created a hall of mirrors, pointing fingers at themselves and each other about who to trust and who to avoid, building a world where the only Gospel was Q, but everything else was up for question.

By Jessica Klein

Facebook shut down massive QAnon groups right before the 2020 election—did it swing the vote?

Whether you believe in the conspiracy or not, there is no denying that it has millions of supporters now. And as they were fighting in the final days to re-elect their God Emperor, they lost the biggest pulpits to spread their gospel.

By Alex Thomas

Social media companies have destroyed research into QAnon

Social media companies made an effort to scrub QAnon content from their platforms. But their deletion of the thousands of accounts that spread the conspiracy theory had an unintended consequence—they got rid of the best way to research it.

By Viola Stefanello

How Gamergate birthed QAnon

Each movement, in its inception, tapped into the collective force of the army of trolls who frequent anonymous message boards. Their tactics are an outgrowth of an online subculture where no prejudice is too shocking, no attack too vicious, no accusation too egregious.

By Claire Goforth

Who is Q? Four years of tips sent to our inboxes

When someone emails you, “I showed you Z. Now look at G. Lilly is Turkey and Jacob’s children is Turkey,” you have no choice but to write back and say, “Go on.”

By David Covucci

Editorial and art direction by David Covucci, Jason Reed, and Andrew Wyrich

The Daily Dot