Elon Musk tells his 121m Twitter fans to follow QAnon, literally the worst people in the world

Elon Musk with a Twitter logo and QAnon symbol in the background

Far-right conspiracy theorists are rejoicing after Elon Musk promoted QAnon to his 121 million Twitter followers.

QAnon is a conspiracy theory which originated on 4Chan in 2017, and the central belief of its adherents is that there is a cabal of Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic sex abusers who run a global child sex-trafficking ring.

The theory began when an anonymous 4Chan user known as “Q” claimed that he was a high-level government official, and began posting clues to the message board suggesting there would be an imminent mass arrest, referred to as “the storm”, of politicians like Hilary Clinton for eating and sexually abusing children. Q followers also believe that the global sex trafficking ring conspired against former president Donald Trump while he was in office.

Over the last five years, the QAnon conspiracy theory spread like wildfire among far-right, anti-LGBTQ+, and white supremacist circles, making its way onto mainstream social media and being promoted by politicians like Marjorie Taylor Greene.

Social media companies began cracking down on QAnon proponents following the Capitol insurrection, committed by Trump-supporters, many of whom were QAnon followers.

But when Musk purchased Twitter earlier this year, QAnon followers were hopeful that they would once again have a platform.

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When Musk took over Twitter, QAnon conspiracy theorist Jacob Creech said: “Elon has openly declared many times this move is to implement constitutionally recognised freedom of speech to the platform… now normies on Twitter will no longer be sheltered from the truth by their globalist overlords.”

It turns out, Creech was right.

On Tuesday (13 December), Musk tweeted to his 121 million followers the world “follow” with a rabbit emoji, widely interpreted as a reference to the QAnon catchphrase “follow the white rabbit”.

Academic and disinformation expert Caroline Orr Bueno shared screenshots of QAnon message boards following Musk’s white rabbit post, where conspiracy theorists were celebrating the tweet as a victory.

“The storm is ramping up,” one follower wrote.

“Ironically, it’s clear as day. Here we f**king go I can feel it. Everything is ramping up for the 2024 election. 2023 is gunna be absolutely f**king wild.”

Earlier this week, Musk spread a QAnon-adjacent theory that Twitter’s former head of trust and safety was promoting the sexualisation of children.

Yoel Roth, who quit Twitter last month, is a gay man, and was reportedly forced to flee his home with his partner due to fears for his safety after Musk’s allegations.

Musk has since done away with Twitter trust and safety team altogether.

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