An online group of conspiracy theorists claiming to have access to classified information involving Donald Trump’s White House administration and its opponents in the United States continues to gain coverage, even after the President has left office.
In fact, it looks set to last beyond his presidency, and QAnon has been labelled a potential terrorist threat by the FBI.
In 2020 Facebook banned all accounts linked to the QAnon conspiracy theory movement from its platforms, earlier the same year, Twitter removed more than 7,000 accounts associated with the conspiracy theory.
But what is the conspiracy theory, and what do its followers believe?
What is QAnon?
QAnon is an online group of conspiracy theorists, claiming to have access to classified information involving the Trump administration and its opponents in the United States.
The group claims that President Trump is in fact an undercover agent on a top secret mission to rid the world of evil and prevent a coup by liberal elites, who also happen to be paedophiles.
It has also claimed Donald Trump feigned collusion with Russians in order to enlist Robert Mueller to join him in exposing the ring and preventing a coup d'état by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros.
Believers also say Angela Merkel is Hitler’s granddaughter and Kim Jong-Un was installed by the CIA to keep the world in a permanent state of near-apocalyptic nuclear doom…
During a televised ‘town hall’ debate ahead of November 2020’s US election, Donald Trump failed to dismiss the conspiracy theory, saying he knows ‘nothing’ about the movement.
The President was asked about QAnon, and said: "I know nothing about it, I do know they are very much against paedophilia, they fight it very hard."
What else do they believe?
According to The Washington Post’s Travis View, who has studied the phenomenon extensively, QAnon believe there is a “worldwide cabal of Satan-worshipping paedophiles who rule the world.
“They control everything. They control politicians, and they control the media. They control Hollywood, and they cover up their existence.”
The cabal would have continued ruling the world, but their plans were thrown into disarray by the election of President Donald Trump – who in the conspiracy theory knows all about the evil cabal's wrongdoing.
"Trump was elected to put an end to them… and we would be ignorant of this behind-the-scenes battle of Donald Trump and the U.S. military were it not for Q”, adds View.
QAnon followers also say an imminent event is on its way – ‘The Storm’ – in which thousands of the cabal’s members will be arrested, sent to Guantanamo Bay, and the U.S. military will brutally take over the country.
The result of The Storm will be salvation and a utopia on earth.
How did it start?
The far-right conspiracy theory began in October 2017 with a web post by someone using the name Q claiming to have access to classified information.
QAnon believers began appearing at Trump re-election campaign rallies during the summer of 2018.
Media outlets have described QAnon as an offshoot of the discredited Pizzagate conspiracy theory.
Is it true?
Of course, the entire thing has been thrown into doubt since Donald Trump left office, having been voted out by the American people in favour of Democrat Joe Biden.
But Trump’s not the only QAnon figurehead in power; in November’s election, Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor, a vocal proponent of the theory, was elected to the House of Representatives, having received the backing of Mr Trump.
QAnon’s claims have been rubbished as “unhinged” and baseless”, and the movement has falsely accused many liberal Hollywood actors, Democratic politicians, and high-ranking officials of being members of an international child sex trafficking ring.
The conspiracy theory, mainly disseminated by supporters of President Trump – has been called "evidence-free", while its proponents have been labelled "a deranged conspiracy cult.”
So of course it's not true. But then, we would say that… the world’s mainstream media is also supposedly part of the cover up...
The QAnon movement has gathered such a following that the FBI has reportedly classed the group as a domestic terror threat.