The growing influence of the QAnon conspiracy theory – podcast

The Guardian US tech reporter Julia Carrie Wong discusses the rise of QAnon, a wide-ranging and baseless internet conspiracy theory that has been festering on the fringes of rightwing internet communities for years. In recent months its visibility has exploded amid the social unrest and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic

The Guardian US tech reporter Julia Carrie Wong talks to Anushka Asthana about the rise of QAnon, an online conspiracy theory. QAnon followers believe that the world is run by a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping Democrats and Hollywood celebrities who are engaged in wide-scale child trafficking, paedophilia and cannibalism.

Despite there being no evidence to support any of the claims, the visibility of the movement has surged. In recent weeks, Donald Trump has praised QAnon followers, a QAnon-backing candidate has all but assured her election to Congress in November, and the #SaveTheChildren hashtag campaign has introduced QAnon to millions of potential new recruits. Julia discusses why the conspiracy theory is gaining traction, not just in the US but around the world, including in the UK.

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