Conspiratorial ideas have permeated the American ethos for decades. Whether it be Hollywood faking the moon landing to government involvement in the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers, there has always been a subsection of the population who believes larger relevant forces are at work. As humanity moves towards a more digital existence, conspiracy theorists also have advanced; enter Qanon. This paper will attempt to deduce the correlation between members of the Qanon community and what external factors could drive one to this belief. Qanon is a conspiratorial community that has attached itself to former President Donald Trump; their thoughts are intriguing, ranging from government corruption to the occult. The groups can attribute its founding to online forums where "Q" was conceived, lurking in dark corners of anonymous websites exchanging information of the "conspiracy." However, in recent years "Q" has emerged from the shadows and made its way into the fray. QAnon presents an interesting case study on how digital media can influence individuals' behavior and beliefs. This paper will investigate how different forms of media consumption correlates with the adoption of conspiratorial beliefs. Furthermore, due to the pertinence of Donald Trump in the conspiracy, Party affiliation will be investigated in conjunction with emotions tied to the January 6th insurrection. By understanding how online information can be leveraged to shape one's own beliefs, it could be possible for regulators to further limit such information from reaching susceptible individuals.
McNally, Trevor, "Down the Rabbit Hole: Understanding the Instigators of the Qanon Conspiracy" (2022). Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters. 514.
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