The NewsGuard organization reveals in a report that this pro-Trump movement, which spreads conspiracy theories around a supposed “deep state”, is attracting “more and more followers” in Europe and France.
“Where one of us goes, we all go”, proclaims their slogan. On July 22, the social network Twitter announced that it had deleted 7,000 accounts* associated with the American conspiracy movement QAnon. “We will permanently suspend accounts tweeting around these topics [complotistes]“, assured the platform*, which justifies this measure by brandishing violations of its regulations. A suspension that could apply to nearly 150,000 accounts linked to the movement around the world, reports the American channel CNN *.
Born on the internet in 2017 and unwavering support of President Donald Trump, supposed to fight a “Deep State” which has been ruling the United States for decades and supporting – among others – pedophilia, the QAnon movement (pronounce “Q Anon”) has, in recent years, set foot in Europe. This is what the latest report from NewsGuard, an organization that analyzes the reliability of online news sources, reveals: QAnon attracted “more and more followers” on this side of the Atlantic, notably in France, Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.
On October 28, 2017, an anonymous user by the name of “Q” began posting a series of cryptic messages on 4chan, a controversial online discussion forum. Q is presented as an American official with access to confidential data by the Department of Energy and whose mission would be to inform the public of Donald Trump’s plan. According to Q, the US president is trying to stop a secret network of alleged criminals referred to as the “deep state”. An organization articulated around Democrat Hillary Clinton or billionaires Bill Gates and George Soros – among other influential members – and which would control the country with the aim of enslaving it for the benefit of a global elite. This is the “Great Awakening” or “Storm” theory.
A group of supporters, the “QAnons”, then formed around Q and continues to gain momentum in the United States, online but also directly on the ground, by appearing at Donald Trump’s meetings. If the US president does not officially support them, the QAnons believe they observe alleged signs in his speeches, especially when he pronounces the number “17” – Q being the 17th letter of the alphabet.
It is through the sharing of conspiratorial theories that QAnon became known online and in particular through the “Pizzagate”, a theory that preexisted but that QAnon has amplified. According to this idea, Hillary Clinton, the unsuccessful candidate in the 2016 US presidential election, would be involved with other elected Democrats in a pedophile ring managed from a pizzeria in Washington, the federal capital. A theory – often denied – among others that target the former opponent of Donald Trump in the race for the White House and his entourage.
In addition to the anonymous supporters who support the American president, a growing number of personalities, especially political figures, have echoed these theories: according to Media Matters for America *, an NGO close to the Democrats specializing in verifying information from conservative media, 63 Republican candidates for the US Congress have reportedly supported or propagated conspiratorial content like QAnon. A few weeks ago, on July 4, it was Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, who also supported the movement on Twitter *.
QAnon infiltrates, settles down and worries. Just a year ago, the movement, and conspiracy theories in general, were labeled a potential national terrorist threat by the FBI, Yahoo News * revealed. Several violent acts were indeed committed by followers of Q, as in the State of New York where a mafia leader would have been killed by an individual convinced to have the support of Donald Trump to fight against the “deep state” , reports the American media NPR *.
And the QAnon movement has spread outside the United States, and especially in Europe since the end of last year. In the top 5 of the countries most affected in the first half of 2020, dominated by the United States, are the United Kingdom and Germany, respectively in 2nd and 5th places, indicates the Institute for Strategic Dialogue * (in PDF). Newsguard has nearly 450,000 subscribers or members across Europe, just for the accounts or groups cited in its report.
The organization reveals that accounts specifically linked to QAnon were created in Europe in 2018 by surfing the wave of the American “Pizzagate”. Some are even strongly followed, such as the German YouTube channel “Qlobal-Change”, which has around 100,000 subscribers, or the British Facebook group on “The Great Awakening”, which has nearly 20,000 members.
And to spread, these platforms adapt the American conspiratorial theses to local contexts, always against a background of pedocriminality and the “new world order”. “These theories are attractive because they are simple”, argues NewsGuard’s European editor, China Labbé.
These theories are based on a simple pattern: globalized elites would plot and want to establish a new world order. Just change a few names to make it fit [en Europe].to franceinfo
In Germany, there is thus a secret pedophile network if we are to believe these theses. Chancellor Angela Merkel for her part embodies a “puppet of the deep state”, like her Italian counterpart Giuseppe Conte. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson would have been propelled to power by the mysterious Q, like Donald Trump. Theories sometimes amplified by celebrities, like the German star Xavier Naidoo or – better known in France – the British pop singer Robbie Williams, who supported the “Pizzagate” theory, reports NewsGuard.
QAnon is therefore spreading over the Old Continent, including in France. Among the most followed pages, a YouTube channel called “Les deQodeurs” and its site DisSept.com which claim to provide “verified and verifiable information for the digital war we are living”. And while this content was originally kept confidential, it now appears on popular misinformation sites, writes NewsGuard, which targets LumiereSurGaia.com, which is in the top 400 sites with the most online engagement in the world. ‘Hexagon. In return, QAnon accounts even share the theses of other supporters of conspiracy theories, such as far-right essayist Alain Soral.
Among the alleged plots listed by NewsGuard, Emmanuel Macron would be a “pawn” of the “deep state” propelled to power after his stint in the investment bank Rothschild & Cie. “QAnon, this is the meta-plot”, Summarizes the journalist Chine Labbé. “QAnon offers an overarching scheme that fits in a lot of long-standing conspiracy sub-theories but leaves them a frame.”
In France, QAnon is not yet ‘mainstream’, far from it, but the fact that these theories are being used [par des sites de mésinformation connus] is the sign that it is taking in France too.to franceinfo
NewsGuard notes that “French-speaking Canada seems to constitute a frequent passage for these theories to cross the Atlantic, from the United States to France”. In particular via the videos of the conspiracy theorist Alexis Cossette-Trudel, host on Radio-Quebec.
For NewsGuard, the Covid-19 pandemic served as a catalyst for the theses of the QAnon movement, and in particular in France. The health crisis would be nothing less than a plan of the “deep state” imposed by the world elites to vaccinate the population, according to publications identified by the organization. An acceleration also identified by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue * (in PDF), particularly during the introduction of containment measures in several countries, in March.
One sign among others of this progression: online groups supporting the now famous professor Didier Raoult – “erected as a hero in certain conspiratorial circles”, writes NewsGuard – shared posts related to the QAnon movement such as a “deQodeurs” video on France and the “deep state”. Content also distributed within pro “yellow vest” groups. For NewsGuard, the fact that these conspiracy theories are merging with locally themed groups is a “ultimate infiltration”.
“This is worrying because QAnon harbors a widespread distrust of institutions globally and has the potential to ‘boost’ other conspiracy theories, such as anti-vaccine theories., at a time when we are going to need a vaccine [contre le coronavirus]”China Labbé alert.
* These links refer to pages in English.