‘We the people, not the sheeple’: QAnon and the transnational mobilisation of millennialist far-right conspiracy theories
Keywords:QAnon, Conspiracy theories, Social media, Twitter, 8kun, Australia, Far-right, Content moderation, Millennialism
QAnon is a U.S.-based conspiracy theory that has been branded as far-right, yet it remains unclear which tenets of transnational far-right ideology are present within QAnon discourse and how adherents actively participate in the movement. To address this problem, a multi-phase content analysis on 1,000 tweets and 8kun posts explores the presence of transnational far-right tenets and millennialist themes within QAnon discourse. A posting frequency analysis of 37,782 tweets and 9,023 posts determines how QAnon adherents participate in precipitating a millennialist apocalypse, and how they can be disrupted. The results suggest that Australian QAnon communities integrate national themes and narratives to ground discourse in the Australian context, and communicate far-right tenets to identify a complex, interconnected left-wing deep state, that must be combatted through a coming apocalypse that QAnon adherents will participate in. This research develops new understandings of how far-right ideology can mould to fit different national contexts, can covertly manifest in discussion topics that are not explicitly far-right, and shows that millennialist movements can be both accelerated and disrupted using social media.
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