Now, as energy around its election-related conspiracy theories loses momentum, the Q movement has doubled its focus on themes like covid-19 denialism and vaccine skepticism. — Craig Timberg and Elizabeth Dwoskin, The Washington Post
Now, as energy around its election-related conspiracy theories loses momentum, the Q movement has doubled its focus on themes like covid-19 denialism and vaccine skepticism. — Craig Timberg and Elizabeth Dwoskin, The Washington Post
With Trump gone, QAnon groups focus fury on attacking coronavirus vaccines
Within the alternative universe of the “Q NEWS OFFICIAL TV” group on Telegram, coronavirus vaccines aren’t saving lives and bending the pandemic toward its eventual end. Rather, they are bioweapons concocted by an evil cabal of corrupt government officials and drug companies.

Their goal? Depopulation. Social control. Altering the very genetic structure of our species.


Such unhinged conspiracy theories once ran rampant on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. But months of purging accounts that trafficked heavily in the baseless QAnon ideology — especially after it helped fuel the Jan. 6 siege on the U.S. Capitol — have reduced those voices on leading social media sites.

Now adherents of QAnon, an extremist ideology that the FBI has deemed a domestic terrorism threat, can be found in the less-visible but still-virulent world of encrypted chat app groups on Telegram and elsewhere. These largely unmoderated online spaces have become cauldrons of ludicrous claims about the pandemic and breeding grounds for an increasingly intense alliance between QAnon and covid denialism.

Videos with names such as “Murder By ‘Vaccine’ — The Evidence Mounts!” and “Doctors and Nurses Giving the coronavirus vaccine Will Be Tried as War Criminals” have been viewed tens of thousands of times after being linked on QAnon-themed channels, including “Q NEWS OFFICIAL TV,” which has more than 50,000 members. Other QAnon groups on Telegram have more than 200,000 members — and endless streams of misinformation about the pandemic.

“Nothing so far has been able sink QAnon, whether it be massive purges by social media companies or the failure of its so-called plan to manifest,” said Rita Katz, executive director of the SITE Intelligence Group, which tracks online extremism. “Now, as energy around its election-related conspiracy theories loses momentum, the Q movement has doubled its focus on themes like covid-19 denialism and vaccine skepticism.”
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/03/11/with-trump-gone-qanon-groups-focus-fury-attacking-covid-vaccines/