Much like COVID-19, QAnon has dominated the headlines in 2020, most recently after President Trump was asked to denounce the once-fringe conspiracy movement at a town hall event in Miami.
QAnon started as just a baseless conspiracy theory spouted in online posts by a shadowy figure named “Q” but has since exploded into a cultish fringe-right movement that’s been linked to crimes — including at least one murder — and is now deemed a potential domestic terror threat by the FBI.
Here’s a look at how QAnon began and its ascent into the mainstream.
What is QAnon and how did it start?
In October 2017, an anonymous user named “Q Clearance Patriot” began posting conspiracy theories on seedy message board 4chan — with the messages now appearing on 8kun, a rebranded version of the shuttered 8chan message board.
“Q” claims to have insider knowledge of the Trump administration and touts the theory that the president is waging a secret