Given the bizarre glut of information that we now have about the inner workings of the Washington swamp, it’s no surprise that we have a seemingly nonstop stream of conspiracy theories to deal with.
Thanks in no small part to Wikileaks, the American people are now far more versed in the inner-workings of Washington DC’s powerbrokers than ever before. The curtain has been pulled slightly to the side, even if only for a brief moment, but we’ve seen some of the mysterious “back room” stuff we were worried about.
This new reality of pseudo-transparency is undoubtedly one of the reasons that Hillary Clinton was so soundly defeated by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election; we caught a glimpse of the reality of her career thanks to Wikileaks, and the American people chose Donald Trump over what they found in Hillary’s closet.
Now, one of the conspiracy theories that has been fermenting the longest in this informational stew is the story of Qanon – a supposed White House insider whose cryptic messages have created a cult-like following throughout the realm of social media. The “Qultists”, as their detractors refer to them, congregated en masse on sites such as Reddit, where they would attempt the decipher what they believed were coded messages from the inner workings of the West Wing, believing that they are unravelling a much larger event than anything we’ve seen in Washington previously.
In the last 24 hours, Reddit has gutted the Qanon community in a stunning blow to free speech, claiming that “violations of the terms of service” had been committed within the nearly two-dozen forums that were nearly-simultaneously wiped from the site.
Stranger still is the fact that the Qanon conspiracy wasn’t even “next in line”, so to speak, in this leftist information culling.
Alex Jones, who has been nearly wiped off of the internet completely over his “hate speech” surrounding the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, was always going to be the first figure that the leftist media went after. He had made himself a target, and he had spent years taunting and testing the limits of the internet’s free speech allowances. He was controversial on purpose, and this ban has seemingly behooved him.
But Qanon followers? These people were harmless and kooky. They weren’t clandestinely planning any vile or violent action. They were merely trying to decipher the vague clues being posted by a likely LARPer, or “live action role player”, who was just stringing together cold-reading techniques in order to elicit enough coincidence to stay relevant. There was literally no reason to take such a drastic action against these ostensibly benign ponderers.
And, of course, this will only lead to the Qanon folks believing that they’ve stumbled onto something far greater, and that their creeping doubts about the legitimacy of their idol can vanish.
This feels far more like a symptom of a problem with Reddit than it seems to be a symptom of sickness in the otherwise harmless Q community, making this a risky maneuver by the social media site. The gravity of their move is certainly not insignificant, so why take the risk?
Perhaps we’ll never know.