The mainstream media tries a new approach to discrediting and disqualifying QAnon:
The QAnon conspiracy theory has surged into mainstream news these past weeks. Several “Q” supporters wore T-shirts and held signs at a recent Trump rally in Florida. Last week, a prominent promoter of the QAnon theory had his photo taken with President Trump in the White House.
If you haven’t heard of the QAnon theory, you’re not alone. We just conducted a new poll of Floridians and found that a large fraction didn’t have any opinion of the QAnon movement. And among those who did, it was strikingly unpopular.
What is QAnon?
“Q” is supposedly a high-ranking official in the Energy Department with a high-level security clearance. “Q,” the theory goes, is working for Trump and against the supposed “deep state.”
“Q” provides clues to online followers who then attempt to piece together those clues to figure out when Hillary Clinton and her ilk will be arrested for sex trafficking and a host of other unspeakable crimes. There are now many versions of the theory, almost as if it were fan fiction, as it has been passed around and expanded upon in social media.
Many people don’t have an opinion of QAnon
Because Florida is where Q supporters made their presence known at the Trump rally, we surveyed 2,085 Floridians from Aug. 8 to 21 after the news coverage of this rally but before news coverage of the QAnon promoter’s White House visit. Over 40 percent did not rate the QAnon movement at all. Twice as many as skipped rating Fidel Castro or Sen. Bill Nelson, and more than three times as many as skipped rating Trump or Clinton. This shows that despite media coverage of QAnon, a large fraction of people likely have not heard enough about it to have an opinion.
Views of QAnon are very unfavorable
Among those who did have an opinion, most were unfavorable toward the QAnon movement. The average score on the feeling thermometer was just above 20. This is a very negative rating, and about half of what the other political figures in the figure below enjoy. In fact, the only person in our comparison to do worse than the QAnon movement, although not by much, is Fidel Castro.
The Energy Department? Anyhow, I don’t think there is even a name for this collection of logical fallacies, but I think the idea is that QAnon doesn’t exist, no one has heard of it, and the few who have heard of this thing that doesn’t exist wouldn’t like it if it did, so if you do happen to hear anything about it, please don’t pay any attention. Also, there is no Deep State and Donald Trump is a Russian spy.