QAnon, the mysterious avatar claiming to be a small team of military intelligence officers and Trump officials using 8chan to leak information on an upcoming purge of the deep state, hasn’t posted since August 1st. With 8chan down, and Q’s own posts instructing followers that there are “no outside comms,” no new posts seem to be forthcoming, either.
What’s more, Google searches for QAnon have crashed, hitting their low over the last year. A movement with no new material to research, no communications from its leader, and slackening interest among newcomers would seem to be a movement that has little left in the tank, and is near death. Right?
Don’t be so sure. In fact, I’ve found it’s wise to never count out QAnon, or to underestimate the fervency with which its believers cling to it. From an anecdotal point of view, I’ve had numerous QAnon believers tell me without hesitation that they will never give up on their faith that the deep state is real, the pedophile rings it protects are evil, and that the good guys are taking them down. And I did those interviews after a month without Q posting.
Think about it. Let’s just say you thought that Donald Trump was leading a secret effort to destroy the most evil people in the world. And what’s more, you thought Q was giving you not only ringside seats, but a way to help in the fight (making memes, doing research digs, etc,) would you stop believing that? Q believers think nothing less than Trump is leading them in a secret war between God and Satan. The war doesn’t stop just because Q has gone silent. And the people fighting that war don’t lay down their digital arms.
Remember, Q is a scam – but it’s also a prophecy cult. Those don’t give up their members just because the prophecies stop coming.
The QAnon gurus who interpret the posts and monetize their findings understand this. They know that thanks to their tireless scamming and hyping, they’ve got a captive audience. Many of these people have alienated or pushed away family members and friends thanks to the relentless drumbeat of videos and podcasts these people create. And so, they haven’t stopped making new material. And Q believers haven’t stopped consuming it.
Yes, searches for QAnon on Google are down. But Google is the enemy according to QAnon, and real Q Team Patriots use other search engines like DuckDuckGo, or Yippy. Where real QAnon engagement metrics can be found are on YouTube and Twitter, and on there, QAnon is still going strong. For one thing, QAnon searches on YouTube itself are holding steady, having regular peaks and valleys, but never falling off a cliff for good.
Beyond that, the views that QAnon decoders are getting on their YouTube videos and streams are down, but still high. Major Q decoder (and possible tax scofflaw) Praying Medic is still putting up QAnon videos, and still getting six figures in views for them – including for five of the last ten videos he’s put up.
Likewise, conspiracy theory channel Edge of Wonder is still getting upwards of 90k views on videos and streams for new content that explicitly references QAnon, or QAnon plotlines like the “deep state.” Similar QAnon/deep state channels like RedPillNews and X22 Report are keeping up their viewership as well, routinely getting high five figure views. It’s clear that the appetite for this material is still out there, and still being satisfied, even if not all of it directly related to QAnon.
It’s the same on Twitter. The classic Q grifters are still going strong, with Joe M, RunningTheRace, InTheMatrixxx and others getting their usual thousands of likes and retweets for their social nonsense. And there’s a new generation of Q grifters out there, capitalizing on the endless well of need that conspiracy boomers represent. One guy who claims to be a major in the US military has picked up a big following quickly by spewing out Q memes and deep state nonsense.
Then there’s “JohnHereToHelp,” a self-described insider whistleblower ready to pull the curtain back on deep state after a career spent infiltrating the bad guys.
And finally, there’s “ChiefPolice2,” an anon who has claimed to be both a retired police chief and a detective who has built up a small but vocal following with his inane spews of QAnon-adjacent conspiracy theories about medical bleach solution and Joe Biden being replaced by a body double.
Even if these weren’t signs that QAnon is still just as popular as ever among the people who believe it, there’s no reason to think 8chan isn’t coming back at some point. It’s current owner, Q-pin-wearing pig farmer Jim Watkins, has said as much on a number of occasions. Nobody makes money from a website that doesn’t work, and Watkins has absolutely no incentive to let it die.
It’s a valuable property, even if its value comes entirely from stoking racial hate and demented conspiracy theories. The moment 8chan comes back, Q will be back in play. And it won’t be long until the Q posts flow again – and with the, the decodings, the videos, and most importantly, the grift.
Why isn’t Q dead? Because greed will never die.
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