Cyberspace today is bringing many positive values to the development of society and individuals. However, along with great benefits, threats from cyberspace have become the top concern of many countries. Besides the positive impact, this is also a space that creates opportunities for anonymous people to propagate and spread illogical conspiracy theories, adversely affecting real society. One of those groups is QAnon, which has been active on social media in the US for the past four years, with unpredictable consequences. The aggressive actions of account holders who are members of QAnon are no longer limited to cyberspace, but have become a real-life problem.
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Many experts say that social networks have acted slowly as QAnon grows rapidly.
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* What is the QAnon conspiracy theory? QAnon are groups operating on the internet, created by mysterious people, specializing in spreading conspiracy theories. QAnon originated from short pieces of writing posted by a character signed Q on online forums. It is surmised that Q could be a person in the US government apparatus, hold a high position or even this is an alias of a group of people who share the password to access the account. Q often writes ambiguous stories and readers have to find a way to decipher to understand what Q’s message wants to say. Like many conspiracy theories, QAnon serves political purposes. This group emerged in 2017, appearing on the web platform 4Chan. The “Anon” in the group name stands for “anonymous”, which is the name of all users of the 4Chan platform. According to the New York Times, the QAnon movement has so far attracted many participants. This group also switched to being active on larger media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, etc.
*Why spread widely on the internet? QAnons spread thanks to a cohesive community that works together to spread them. The special feature that makes QAnon such a popular phenomenon is that they have members thanks to their eloquence, thanks to their rigorous reasoning, which has made many people, if before, they were still shaken in their thoughts, then later turned to believe. absolute trust in the stories they give. Explaining this, James Grimmelmann, a professor at Cornell Law University who specializes in Internet law and social networks, said that people accept these theories because they help explain a world full of randomness. ; and even if we feel they have gone too far, they can still provide a little sense of comfort and security. Conspiracy theories spread by the QAnon group include: they claim that the United States is ruled by a “criminal organization” that includes former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, billionaire George Soros and many more. Various Hollywood stars. Many of QAnon’s messages are anti-Semitism and right-wing extremists. Among the supporters and followers of the QAnon group, there are quite a few people on the right who support incumbent US President Donald Trump. As a result, they believed in baseless conspiracy theories that for decades a “criminal organization” had taken over and led the United States. According to them, President Trump is being the target of a secret conspiracy, but it is Mr. Trump who was appointed by the US military as president to investigate, arrest and punish “criminal organizations”. above. Stemming from this conspiracy theory, QAnon members have turned social media networks into a “battlefield” to destroy President Trump’s political opponents. The aggressive actions of account holders who are members of QAnon are no longer limited to cyberspace, but have become a problem affecting the real life of many people. Another evidence of the danger of spreading conspiracy theories of the QAnon group is about the origin of the corona virus that causes COVID-19 disease recently. These kinds of conspiracy theories and fake information related to the COVID-19 epidemic have caused consequences as serious and bad as the destruction of this deadly virus. Since this epidemic appeared at the end of 2019 in Wuhan (China) and then spread to the whole world, QAnon and many groups spreading conspiracy theories have been very active on social networks. The internet is awash with false information about the origin of the corona virus and how to protect yourself from this virus. Some of these conspiracy theories are dangerous, some are outlandish, and some are blatantly racist. Conspiracy theories related to corona virus spreading on the internet can be mentioned as: corona virus is owned by Bill Gates and is distributed for abhorrent purposes; or advise people to drink bleach to kill corona virus; or the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine is a “cure” for COVID-19 and masks are completely unnecessary; or think that corona virus is a weapon biogas… All those conspiracy theories seem to be concocted to take advantage of people’s huge interest in this virus. They are constantly being fabricated and confusing, so much so that Twitter has had to cut search results to filter out unreliable content about the coronavirus and Google has had to implement “SOS Alerts” to provide resources. reliable information for those looking for information about this virus. Conspiracy content is also posted in seemingly unrelated groups such as yoga and parenting groups. QAnon’s conspiracy theories can mislead readers about the health or trafficking of children. According to US media, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has considered QAnon to be a potential domestic terrorist threat. This movement is currently thriving on Twitter, or Facebook, some members of this group are even running for Parliament in November. As the election day approaches, fake news as well as conspiracy theories are being spread more and more on social networks. According to well-known Republican strategist Mike DuHaime, internet conspiracy theories and rumors persist regardless of who wins the November election. This is partly due to the growing polarization of American politics.