Yet even with their hero out of office, QAnon’s fiercest followers will find a way to adapt to the new reality by clinging onto more lies that suit their movement, says Travis View, who hosts QAnon Anonymous, a podcast that tracks and debunks online conspiracy theories.
“This is not something that is just going to go away,” View tells Audie Cornish on All Things Considered.
In fact, the QAnon community has survived multiple unrealized predictions preached on Internet message boards since 2017. That’s when its originator, an anonymous individual (or individuals) known as “Q” who purports to have high-level government security clearance, began posting on sites like 4chan. Followers decipher and analyze Q’s cryptic online posts to create a false narrative that has spilled into the real world and even fueled violent acts like the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Q hasn’t posted since December, as View notes. But steadfast QAnon followers remain energized without any one leader propping up their beliefs, he says.