With more than a dozen congressional candidates appearing on ballots in November, Qanon is mainstream. While it looks like a lot of other conspiracy theories, this research provides a fascinating look at how the conspiracy's "Bakers" co-create their knowledgescape.
"QAnon doesn’t simply offer readers insider insight into current events, but also provides them the ability to take part in shaping those events through an intricate research process."
That process looks like this: Q drops almost impenetrable nonsense. "Bakers" turn these "crumbs" into "Proofs" (within the Q context), which are a kind of "Bread": worthy research offering authoritative interpretations, and "proving" Q's authenticity.
Several ways Bread is created:
Some of this is analogous to knowledge management / brokerage processes. This "collaboration creates a populist expertise that provides /justifies an alternative to knowledge generated by “mainstream” institutions... constructing alternative facts", validated by the community (or Q) in an analogous way to validating mainstream knowledge through peer review. "QAnon researchers have found a means of validating their own claims in their interpretation of the world".
The result is a pre-existing body of "validated" knowledge which provides a coherent, "proven" framework for understanding (what is really happening in) the world, where "secretly buying kids from a discount furniture site is perfectly logical".
This is community-driven fan fiction: "dark participatory culture" for what members believe to be very serious political participation.
This poses an issue for "media literacy programs, which attempt to empower individuals by teaching them to “think critically,” “do their own research,” and evaluate their sources.", which is what Bakers do, and use to defend their work's validity. Media literacy "isn’t a meaningful check against conspiratorial thinking—in fact, it may contribute to it."
More Stuff I Like