Monday August 24, 2020
Interpreting Social Qs: Implications of the Evolution of QAnon
The past few months have seen a wealth of mainstream news reporting on the conspiratorial social media movement known as QAnon. Some of these news pieces have charted its growth in the Covid-19 era, documented the presence of its supporters on Twitter and Facebook and covered the recent actions taken by these platforms to restrict its influence.
Graphika has been analyzing the QAnon community on an ongoing basis for over two years, developing a set of network maps that allow for an understanding of how this movement has changed over time. This includes regular assessments of the movement’s potential to cause real-world harm as a result of its involvement in topics like Covid-19 and the worldwide protests that began after the murder of George Floyd. Frequently discussed in publications about QAnon is the FBI’s decision to designate the movement a domestic terrorism threat in August of last year - while Graphika understands the majority of QAnon content to be innocuous, there are a number of situations in which this potential harm has become realized.