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What you need to know about QAnon

How an unhinged conspiracy leapt from a wacky corner of the internet to the seat of democracy

By Emily Lawford   April 2021

Photo: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo

The first thing to say about QAnon is that you might well have heard of it. Pronounced “Q-anon,” it is a conspiracy you’d expect to be confined to the wilder fringes of the internet—claiming elite figures in politics, business and the media are Satanic paedophiles overseeing a global child trafficking ring, while pulling strings that enable them to run the world.  

This being the 2020s, however, QAnon is not purely an internet phenomenon but an idea with a toe-hold in the US Congress, and likely inspired a slogan recently used by the Texas GOP:  “We are the…

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