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Conspiracy theories are nothing new in the United States. There have been thousands of sightings of the mythical ‘Bigfoot’ creature. Many believe that a US military installation known as ‘Area 51’ is sheltering spacecraft and aliens. And some say the 9/11 attacks were an inside job.
But, even in that company, the theories of the QAnon world stand out. Its growing network of true believers are centred around an anonymous figure known only as “Q” who claims to have inside knowledge that US President Donald Trump is waging an undercover war against elite and “deep state” paedophile rings and sex trafficking schemes. Many other conspiracy theories are also being spread by the movement’s adherents.
“Q” began posting messages on some of the more obscure corners of the internet such as the message boards 4chan and 8chan. Now, though, supporters of the individual’s theories are happy to be interviewed in the mainstream media and have been turning up in force at Trump rallies.
In this episode of The Stream, we look at the origins of the movement, find out why so many people are getting involved and ask, can they have a serious impact on US politics?
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