QAnon, the viral pro-Trump conspiracy theory, explained

This Matters lifts the veil on what QAnon is, how it’s spread like a virus in mainstream discourse, what responsibilities social media companies have in cracking down on it and why internet-fuelled (and false) beliefs carry real consequences.

Six months ago, QAnon was a little-known conspiracy theory on the fringes of the internet. Today it has hit the mainstream. QAnon is a big-tent conspiracy theory, falsely alleging the world is run by a cabal of devil-worshipping pedophiles. Their ideas have resulted in real-world violence and supporters have won legislative races in the U.S.

Amarnath Amarasingham, associate professor at Queen’s University and associate fellow at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization, explains how QAnon has pushed believers to act out in violence and why the conspiracy theory carries a particular “religious” tone.