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QAnon in the UK: Executive Summary

QAnon has broadened from its orthodox form to include more eclectic versions less rooted in US partisan narratives, allowing it to spread to other national…

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Chapter : QAnon in the UK: Executive Summary
  • QAnon has broadened from its orthodox form to include more eclectic versions less rooted in US partisan narratives, allowing it to spread to other national contexts.
  • Polling from September shows that QAnon is yet to penetrate the British mainstream, with only one in five polled having heard of the theory. However, our poll also found that 5.7% claimed to be QAnon supporters, and that broader conspiratorial notions that form part of the QAnon worldview are more widely supported. This suggests that there is potential for QAnon to spread, especially amongst the young.
  • Brits have emerged as influential voices in the global QAnon scene, with Martin Geddes, a computer scientist from Staines, being one of the most popular QAnon influencers in the world.
  • QAnon narratives have inspired a series of street demonstrations across the UK, which have been held in 17 cities and towns so far. Whilst most have been small, some have attracted hundreds of people, and QAnon is becoming an important component in the wider, conspiracy theory-driven anti-lockdown movement.
  • QAnon repackages many long standing conspiratorial notions, and the groundwork for the movement has been laid by long-standing British conspiracy theorists such as David Icke.
  • Adoption of QAnon by the UK radical and far right has so far been limited to an individual rather than organisational basis, but shared narratives and tropes means there is scope for further spread.

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