Trailer | Disinformation experts concerned over new HBO QAnon docu-series

QAnon docu-series
(AP Photo/Dario Lopez-MIlls)

The teaser for HBO’s new QAnon docu-series is raising some eyebrows. The feature, called ‘Q: Into the Storm’ has some disinformation experts concerned about the hyped-up preview (and possibly the entire series) and how it could draw in more supporters.

As Wikipedia describes it, “QAnona, or simply Q, is a disproven and discredited far-right conspiracy theory alleging that a secret cabal of Satan-worshipping, cannibalistic paedophiles are running a global child sex-trafficking ring and plotted against former U.S. President Donald Trump while he was in office. According to U.S. prosecutors, QAnon is commonly called a cult.”

Ben Collins, a leading journalist covering online radicalization, tweeted that the HBO preview was “being marketed in a way that could recruit more people,” while some critics pointed out that the trailer felt a lot like “a recruitment video for Q.”

Speaking to The Verge, Joan Donovan, research director at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard, said that, by portraying Q as edgy and exciting, the trailer risked attracting even more people to the cause.

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“The most concerning aspect to me is that the reuse of footage found online pieced together in 6 hours of conspiracist content will be validation for the contemporary movement and drive more content/interest,” Donovan told The Verge. “It’s not like we are 5 years from the insurrection. Q influencers will use the fact of their participation in the documentary to sap more people for donations and build a more loyal audience at a time when many are struggling to contain this anti-Semitic and racist networked conspiracy.”

According to HBO’s press release, the docu-series is the result of a three-year global investigation that will “examine the influence of QAnon on American culture and question the consequences of unfettered free speech permeating the darkest corners of the Internet.”

Watch the teaser trailer for HBO’s QAnon docu-series, Into the Storm below and find more trending content, here.

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