If Then talks to right-wing media expert Will Sommer about the latest far-right conspiracy theory, QAnon.

From Pizzagate to QAnon: How Fringe-Right Conspiracy Theories Hit the Mainstream

From Pizzagate to QAnon: How Fringe-Right Conspiracy Theories Hit the Mainstream

Decoding the Logic of Silicon Valley
Aug. 8 2018 3:00 PM

Embracing Deplorable Status

A conversation with the Daily Beast’s Will Sommer on QAnon, Pizzagate, and why so many Trump supporters are falling for online conspiracy theories.

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WILKES BARRE, PA - AUGUST 02: David Reinert holds up a large 'Q' sign while waiting in line to see President Donald J. Trump at his rally on August 2, 2018 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. 'Q' represents QAnon, a conspiracy theory group that has been seen at recent rallies.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Rick Loomis/Getty Images.

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On this week’s If Then, Will Oremus and April Glaser discuss why a bunch of the big tech platforms—Facebook, YouTube, Apple—are suddenly banning the far-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and his media empire Infowars. They also talk about the latest Wells Fargo foreclosure scandal where a computer glitch led to hundreds of wrongful foreclosures. The hosts are then joined by William Sommer, tech reporter with the Daily Beast who follows QAnon and other right-wing conspiracy theories closely. He’ll help us understand how this fringe thinking tumbled into mainstream attention.

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Stories discussed on the show:

Don’t Close My Tabs:

Podcast production by Laura Flynn.

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You can get updates about what’s coming up next by following us on Twitter @ifthenpod. You can follow Will @WillOremus and April @Aprilaser. If you have a question or comment, you can email us at ifthen@slate.com.

If Then is presented by Slate and Future Tense, a collaboration among Arizona State University, New America, and Slate. Future Tense explores the ways emerging technologies affect society, policy, and culture. To read more, follow us on Twitter and sign up for our weekly newsletter.