Russian internet accounts 'amplified' QAnon content to hurt the US: report

Russian internet accounts 'amplified' QAnon content to hurt the US: report

As ludicrous as QAnon's conspiracy theories are, supporters of the far-right group take them quite seriously — and QAnon supporters were willing to resort to violence when they joined other extremists in attacking the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6. QAnon is the focus of author Mia Bloom and Sophia Moskalenko's book, "Pastels and Pedophiles: Inside the Mind of QAnon," and Bloom discussed the group during a recent appearance on the podcast The World.

Bloom told host Marco Werman, "QAnon is one of these baseless conspiracy theories that started from the underbelly of the internet, and the basic premise of QAnon is rehashed and recycled old anti-Semitic tropes, conspiracy theories about the Catholic Church — and that the world is controlled by this global cabal of mostly Democrats, but also, Hollywood elites that are trafficking in children. They are raping the children, and then they are drinking their blood."

The author continued, "And for the longest time, it was a fringe movement. And then all of a sudden, in March 2020, we saw a 600% increase in the number of people joining these message boards, Facebook groups, Twitter. And so, there was a massive uptick. So now, instead of it being a fringe movement, what we have is as many as 30 million Americans believe that there is a blood-drinking cabal running things."

Bloom went on to discuss the role that QAnon played in the January 6 insurrection.

"We were watching the insurrection on a live feed in real-time, and the people who were QAnon supporters were really easy to pick out of the crowd because either they would have a giant Q flag or they might have actually even been wearing a Q (on) their chest," Bloom told Werman. "And you also had, you know, this very well-known figure, Jake Chansley, who's known as the Q Shaman, you know, with the face paint and the horns and the body tattoos."

Bloom stressed, however, that QAnon were only one of the extremist groups that attacked the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6.

"I think there was a perception that this insurrection was exclusively a QAnon insurrection when in fact, the QAnon people seem to have bulked out the crowd, but the most dangerous elements on January 6 were groups that we know, these militia groups: Oath Keepers, Boogaloo, Three Percenters, KKK, Patriot Front," Bloom told Werman. "We don't see the vast majority of people who believe in QAnon as the equivalent of ISIS. But if someone is a neo-Nazi or a Patriot Front or an Oath Keeper or Three Percenter, they're already dangerous. If they believe in QAnon, then that's where the problem is."

During the interview, Bloom noted that QAnon isn't strictly an American phenomenon — and that internet accounts in Russia "amplified" QAnon content in order to hurt the United States and promote chaos during the 2020 election.

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