Last weekend, as Democrats danced the streets to celebrate the election of Joseph R. Biden Jr., believers in QAnon were on their computers, trying to make sense of it all.
“Biden will NEVER be president,” one wrote.
“Trump knows what he’s doing,” wrote another in a QAnon forum. “He lets the Dems, the technocrats and the media hang themselves publicly.”
Some QAnon affiliates, however, were already on the verge of acceptance.
“We’re losing,” one tweeted. “I’m not sure I trust the plan anymore. I’m not even sure there is a plan.
These are tough times for believers in QAnon, the conspiracy theory built around the baseless claim that there is a fsatanic pedophile cult led by top Democrats.
For years, they had been assured that Mr. Trump would win in a landslide and spend his second term defeating the Deep State and bringing cabal leaders to justice. Q, the forum user whose posts have fueled the movement for more than three years, told them to “trust the plan.”
But since Mr. Trump’s defeat, Q has been silent on 8kun, the website where all of Q’s posts appear. QAnon-related activity on the site has slowed to a trickle – on a recent day there were fewer new posts on 8kun’s most active QAnon board than on its board for adult diaper fetishists.
There are also signs of infighting in QAnon’s inner circle. Ron Watkins, an 8kun administrator some believed to be Q himself, ad on election day, he withdrew from the site, citing “huge battles” over censorship and the site’s future.
Although QAnon has had some success infiltrating the Republican Party – one adherent won a congressional race in Georgia last week – the movement has faced other setbacks. QAnon followers have been banned from most major social media platforms, reducing the movement’s momentum and robbing it of its most effective organizing tools. Facebook groups and YouTube channels with hundreds of thousands of subscribers disappeared overnight.