Swiss text sleuths crack mystery of QAnon origins

Published January 18, 2021
Swiss startup OrphAnalytics staff poses with a laptop using the text analysis software on January 6. — AFP
Swiss startup OrphAnalytics staff poses with a laptop using the text analysis software on January 6. — AFP

GENEVA: The mysterious “Q” behind the QAnon conspiracy movement, which was instrumental in the storming of the US Capitol, is in fact two people, according to Swiss experts.

Swiss startup OrphAnalytics said it had used its algorithm-based machine-learning text analysis software, developed to detect plagiarism, to help crack the mystery behind QAnon.

“There are clearly two styles characterising the QAnon messages,” company chief Claude Alain Roten said in an interview at his home in western Switzerland.

The conspiracy movement is based on messages by “Q Clearance Patriot”, who claims to be a US intelligence official leaking classified information.

The so-called Q-drops began appearing on fringe messaging board 4chan in October 2017 and later moved to 8kun, promoting a vast conspiracy theory claiming President Donald Trump is waging a secret war against a global liberal cult of Satan-worshipping paedophiles.

There has been speculation about Q’s identity and whether one person is really behind thousands of these Q-drops but Roten said it was now clear “two people are behind them”.

Published in Dawn, January 18th, 2021

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