President Trump’s electoral defeat has shaken American followers of QAnon. International believers are mostly keeping faith — and taking the conspiracy theory in new directions.
In a Telegram channel for believers in Australia and New Zealand this week, a fabricated story about Democrats deliberately infecting tens of thousands of senior citizens with the coronavirus to use their identities to vote sat side-by-side with reports on domestic politics.
While organizing protests against coronavirus measures in Canadian cities, Canadian channels also are circulating the false claim that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau plans “immediate military intervention on American soil” if Trump does not concede.
“QAnon is so nonspecific, people can see in it what they want to, making the movement very resilient and hard to stop,” said Rhys Leahy, a senior research assistant at George Washington University’s Institute for Data, Democracy & Politics who studies Q networks. “It takes on a life of its own.”