The online identity QAnon has attracted an enthusiastic following since Friday. Many have decried the pseudonymous theory, which claims Donald Trump has been “hacked” by a deep state cabal, as a hoax, but another seems to have taken to the QAnon message board to promote a thinly sourced conspiracy theory. The article is evidently meant to be posted in an online forum for North Carolina-based mothers – complete with a link to QAnon’s Facebook page.
The QAnon team shared the message board to media outlets on Monday, claiming the writing was done by a woman named Kelly Colen, and that it was titled “TRIUMPHANT MOM SHOWS @DAVE_MCCOY THAT she LIKES QANON WITH DOUBLE ROD, MAKING MILLIONS OF DOLLARS”. As soon as Colen began sending screenshots to media outlets, her fake identity was abandoned, apparently after a question of authenticity was raised.
Colen’s profile appears to be shared to Facebook, where she has around 15,000 followers. It’s a fabricated account, including posts that show a local spelling mistake and a false claim that Colen attended the famous Cuthbert Middle School in Boone, North Carolina.
A message posted on the QAnon Facebook page on Monday claimed that Colen was a follower of the theory and asked people to tell QAnon staff to delete the post.
If the bizarre alleged message is real, it’s the latest occurrence of conspiracy theories being effectively promoted by social media. Other sites have promoted the QAnon theory, including a YT tribute page called Rachel, as well as an independent QAnon series by Science+Outrage, on Tumblr.
The QAnon theory is one of several outlandish fringe theories to gain widespread traction on social media, both on and offline. In May, Facebook told the Guardian that it had cracked down on “speculative” posts about the New World Order and 9/11 in an attempt to better address the spread of falsehoods and hoaxes on the site. The move comes amid claims that political advertising targeting swing states by citing core myths of the Leave campaign is taking place. Facebook has also been hit with lawsuits over fake celebrity endorsements.