The Instagram aesthetic that made QAnon mainstream

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Published on 28 Oct 2020, 12:00
Conspiracy theory researchers explain how QAnon spread through Instagram.

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At first glance, the images under the hashtags about child trafficking don’t look that different from anything else you’d expect to see on Instagram. They feature bright pastel colors with trendy fonts spelling out taglines like “wake up” and “get loud.”

What the people who see these hashtags — and the lifestyle influencers who often post them — might not know is that the hashtag is being used to bring QAnon ideas into the mainstream. In March, 23 percent of people surveyed by Pew had heard of QAnon; by September, that number had risen to 47 percent. Now the conspiracy theory has reached a bigger support base than ever before via QAnon-lite memes — with serious implications for the election.

Read more of Vox's coverage on QAnon:

And on how it spread to a new audience:

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