What Can You Do About QAnon? | NYT Opinion

A global cabal of celebrity pedophiles? Trafficked children being sold online through a furniture website? And Donald Trump about to rescue us from it all?

These QAnon conspiracy theories are so outlandish — not to mention demonstrably untrue — it feels like the natural response … is laughter and mockery.

But according to documentary filmmaker Kirby Ferguson, that’s the opposite of what you should do. Dunking on fools may feel good, but humiliating QAnoners risks driving them further down the rabbit hole. And you should care because you might have a QAnon believer among your friends or family — and on Nov. 3, it’s possible several will be elected to Congress. Q is not going anywhere soon. So what can you do?

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100+ comentarios:

Valentina Giorgi
Valentina Giorgi:
In the 2000s, parents told us to not to believe everyhing you read on internet. Nowadays, we have to tell them the same
Snow Fall
Snow Fall:
By the time you lose half of your *IQ* and leave only *Q* left.
Adrian
Adrian:
The whole save the children thing reminds me a lot of the satanic panic in the 80's, except worse.
Gregor Meisen
Gregor Meisen:
Fun fact: Mick West, debunker of conspiracy theories, was a co-founder of Neversoft, the developer that gave us, among others, the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater games. So thank you on multiple levels Mr. West!
Ashia
Ashia:
The hard thing about trying to disprove conspiracies is that the very evidence you produce to disprove them is what further sentiments their beliefs, as any evidence is considered “false” or perpetuated by “those seeking to keep the truth hidden”; it’s tricky stuff
Krazie Ivan
Krazie Ivan:
so tired of treating grown adults with kid-gloves just because they're likely to react even less rational, or possibly with violence. humanity should be so far past all this garbage by now... with the heights of tech & methods of scientific research we've hit, along with the ability to carry around access to history & knowledge. an inter-connectedness that should be showing us how similar we are, not used to divide further. WTF. exhausted & sad...
Danielle Calderon
Danielle Calderon:
Who is watching this after the Capitol riot
halneufmille
halneufmille:
"One should not believe everything on the Internet."

- Abraham Lincoln
Business Solutions, LLC
Business Solutions, LLC:
Are they trying to save all children 🤔 Like the ones in cages at the bored or just white kids?
Tta J
Tta J:
This is actually pretty serious!!!!! Even though it seems ridiculous I’ve had really close people to me believe in this with their hearts and souls! If you laugh or make fun of them, then it also intensifies their beliefs! Something has to be done and I’m telling you I’m desperate! I want my family back!
Daniel Nuño
Daniel Nuño:
-wearing a wire
-in front of a microphone
-in front of a camera
- in front of hundreds of millions of people

Ya makes sense
Lauren M
Lauren M:
Easier said than done. It's incredibly painful to watch a family member be sucked into this stuff, especially a parent. Chances are the person was already a little "off" before getting into this stuff. There is often mental illness, isolation, poverty, or other factors involved. Attempting to reason with them Does. Not. Work. You can pour in all the time and gentle questioning in the world and still be told that you are a pedophile if you do not support Qanon. At some point it's unhealthy to keep sinking emotional labor and energy into a bottomless pit of insanity. That is why so many people cut family members off. Because its the only way to save our own mental health.
Myndi Mc
Myndi Mc:
This helps allot. I just hope my twin sister gets “bored” with it because she has slipped into a rabbit hole deeper than the pacific.
Mildred Urena
Mildred Urena:
Oh my God! This is like going back to the dark ages. I'm so glad I took the time to find out what Qanon was. How on Earth did America get to this?
ctwwtc
ctwwtc:
I often wonder what the world would look life if social media never existed
Izabella
Izabella:
This. didnt. age. well. THEY STORMED THE CAPITOL
RJ Abundo
RJ Abundo:
When you've lost hope and fulfillment and detached yourself from reality, you resort to conspiracies
Chance Jin-Koh
Chance Jin-Koh:
One of the hardest things to do is remain open to the fact that you could be wrong.
cuki-Face
cuki-Face:
As a single parent , the new reality is you have to have conversations with your kids about how to view the internet and use it responsibly. Many believe what they read is real because it's on there as if some editor is monitoring everything.
Adian Chowdhury
Adian Chowdhury:
Most conspiracies rely on 2 fallacies:
1: There is nothing disproving my claim, so it must be correct
When you make the claim, you supply the proof. If somebody claims that he saw a unicorn, you don't go out of your way to prove him wrong. You ask, where is the photograph, or video, or any other reasonable evidence
2: Coolrolation DOES NOT equal causation. Just because two things happened in a certain time frame, it doesn't necessarily mean one caused the other. They could have happened together out of coincidence, or they can be caused by something different. It's like saying that since you ate chips and then you tripped on your shoelaces, that the chips caused you to trip.

99% of conspiracies rely on these two fallacies, and they are the conspiracies' weaknesses.
Mister Mister
Mister Mister:
I'm not afraid of admitting when I'm wrong
I'm afraid when someone else fights to prevent admitting they're wrong despite the objective evidence and it at one point makes you question reality
Vingeskudt
Vingeskudt:
Sometimes I think about, what if the person behind Q someday stood forward, and agreed to do a documentary, and told how it all started, and showed his computer and account and everything, explained it all. This would be the greatest doc of all time! I really wanna see it!
Lander Reyniers
Lander Reyniers:
They have the "Q", we just need to give them the "I".
Watson
Watson:
Man once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities the most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.
- Thomas Jefferson , 1822.
Enjoy your chicken Ted!
Enjoy your chicken Ted!:
First thing you learned when social media and chat programs became popular was that the person exchanging messages with you can be a bot or 55 year old Bob from Springfield instead of 13 year old Samantha of NYC. Which one is Q, I wonder?
Jazz Alterio
Jazz Alterio:
Spanish subtitles plsss

There are QAnons in México and I need to show this to my friends lmao

Not hard to translate but it'd be cool nevertheless
LordMerekIV
LordMerekIV:
this is the consequence of killing real journalism
William Chui
William Chui:
People need to grow up and accept the fact they are sometimes wrong. This does not degrade or make you inferior person, but a natural process to make you a more complete person with broader knowledge and insights to complicated issues.
Robby Huang
Robby Huang:
I knew I recognized that voice! Kirby Ferguson, outstanding work as always.
Jackson Cadenhead
Jackson Cadenhead:
this is so good.
QuestioningYourSanity
QuestioningYourSanity:
If a Q person is just exploring the idea then they can come back but once they have adopted it as a part of their identity, they will only go deeper or move on to a different conspiracy. The only common trait among conspiracy theorists is that none of them believe in just one. They are addicted to the feeling of being one of the few that know something. They will keep searching for that feeling.
Hannah Sharma
Hannah Sharma:
The 4d chess thing just sends me lol I'm so lost
tucciproducer
tucciproducer:
John Stewart said it best, "I'm asked all the time to evaluate my culpability in radicalizing the right, while fox News is never asked to evaluate themselves."
jm jm
jm jm:
A lot of wisdom in this. Maimonides has said (paraphrase), "If you want someone to change their behavior, stop disliking them."
Chris
Chris:
Absolutely love the conclusion !!!I feel like this doesn’t just apply to QAnons but other group of “internet oddities “too, in this day and age most people (especially kids)are just gonna dunk on these “odd” or “wrong “ group of people without realizing that behind all of that odd beliefs is just another misguided and confused human being . I always get so tired when people treat those people like some sort of living joke and treating the whole situation which is pretty serious like a real life meme, like I certainty don’t believe in QAnon but treating people and serious situations like that is just wrong on so many levels. So thank you guys for this
Love Heals
Love Heals:
2 words... Excellent piece. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sky9136
Sky9136:
I’m actually really grateful you guys made this video because it’s so spot on. It’s hard for us science based thinkers to not immediately laugh at the ridiculousness of it all but you’re right, all that does is force them to double down and then call us sheep. I genuinely feel sad for some of these people because they’re being manipulated so maliciously that they’re willing to sacrifice their own logic and rationality which is dangerous and when they do eventually wake up it’s going to be a hard fall back to reality. That being said, I’m guilty of humiliating and now I see that I’m just giving the delusion more fuel rather then helping it burn out quicker. Thanks for this, I needed it.
Frank O
Frank O:
I recognize that voice, though it took me some minutes to pin it down. The narrator is Kirby from TINACT, how fitting!
b r
b r:
Wow. Powerful. Who knew kindness was strength? Oh, right, I did. Great video!
Dennis N
Dennis N:
We love Q!!! Keep up the good work
Wuzic
Wuzic:
I find that people are usually more susceptible to conspiracies if they are paranoid, distrustful, angry and desperately lonely. They need to find something to believe in, that isn't destructive. It takes time, but we should all learn to be more patient with our fellow human beings.
Michael McDowell
Michael McDowell:
Thanks for this story. I have so many friends who have fallen into this lair. I can be frustrated , or even at wit’s end at times by the outlandish belief systems they have created. I can now see each one is just lonely and is finding a connection. This is how addiction is defined. The modern world is a lonely place. Addictions abound.
Mr.Yeti64
Mr.Yeti64:
I stumbled across this video. Proved your point on Wednesday
Luc Bloom
Luc Bloom:
Don’t forget the #1 rule:
Do not engage with them in algorithm-based sites, it’ll only generate engagement and also widen the divide.
Adam Riozzi
Adam Riozzi:
Kirby Ferguson!!! I missed his voice. Great content.
LUCAS
LUCAS:
"Think of how stupid the average person is,,, and realize half of them are stupider than that"

George Carlin-
Brandon Hunter
Brandon Hunter:
That was really good. #2 and #3 seemed fairly obvious to me (dude their just humans being human, have some empathy). But I have to admit, resisting the urge to not simply cut these people off from my life is a tough one. That I will have to be better at.
Twisted Scorpio
Twisted Scorpio:
Yes. This is true. Ridiculing someone doesn't help. It just makes matter worse.
Stan Sumrall
Stan Sumrall:
In my life I’ve found that you can’t reason with unreasonable people, you can’t reach an illogical person with logic and you can’t do anything about someone who’s gone down the Q hole. It’s all very sad and potentially will have very serious consequences.
David
David:
3 things to do if someone you know is into G...

I am already thinking... I probably do nothing, lol.
John Smith
John Smith:
If you love your family you keep loveing them but it's ok to say I love you and now it's time for me to go over here and love these people as well
Matt Mitchell
Matt Mitchell:
All the heavy women in the marketing office I used to work in bought into all this stuff, they were really dug in, and I had to leave because of they refused to wear mask. The CEO didn’t believe the virus is real.
No You
No You:
4:47 lmao that’s so accurate
RODOLFO PEREZ
RODOLFO PEREZ:
BEAUTIFUL!!!
recovering addict
recovering addict:
I actually was on lots of shrooms and came across the flat earth videos and sorta believed it cuz i was thinking in that "connect the dots" way. were all crazy and that's why this is happening
Alexey Rodokanakis
Alexey Rodokanakis:
I find it tremendously scary that we now have to add this to the innumerable other taxing things that we as humans living in contemporary society must constantly be aware of.
C
C:
This is really useful. Especially on how to deal with QAnon.
Jennifer Trujillo
Jennifer Trujillo:
Great Opinion piece. Thank you!!
MiamiOle
MiamiOle:
I have literally shared all of the advice at the end of the video and none of it worked. On my family, on my friends, in person, and on the internet. Literally some of the most educated and functional people I know become information illiterate when it comes to this conspiracy stuff. Fortunately it's a small group of my friends but they are dedicated and I fear dangerous.
Elaine Munro
Elaine Munro:
Excellent ways to offer a lifeline to folks who are in the Q research hole.
Keyboardje
Keyboardje:
I've been doing all this for months and months, but for my own health and sanity I ultimately had to end an almost 8 year relationship.
I love him, but have had to come to the conqlusion he certainly IS INSANE, and revelling in it.
Weronika Krähe
Weronika Krähe:
I love this videos message - we all make mistakes. Thank you!
RealWords14k
RealWords14k:
Wow perfect timing to drip this huh?
David Kile
David Kile:
The advice on how to deal with Q Anons is probably right as far as what would be most effective, but a lot of us are just so tired of being told that it's our fault that the alt right / conspiracy people / Trumpers are the way they are. When do 'evidence seekers' and liberals get to have a break from always being the adults in the room?
Spanky McAnus
Spanky McAnus:
This is really such a great unbiased video
TheZoltanChronicles
TheZoltanChronicles:
What's required in my view is educating people on the scientific method and focus on helping them develop a basic understanding of logical fallacies and critical thinking. I love the idea of asking questions too, turn their intellect on as opposed to off.
TheAdventurer24
TheAdventurer24:
This is a beautiful video. Thank you very much.
@MissQueeennn
@MissQueeennn:
Like this video X's 100 !! #Deradicalize 🙏❤
tyler toth
tyler toth:
Great message psychologically well thought out.
Fajar Setiawan
Fajar Setiawan:
This is actually expected considering how virtually limitless the boundary of internet is. It's an infinite world where billions of netizen, real or bot alike, live and interact freely and unbounded from limitations of real life like physical limitations (range, power, etc.) and social norms. It's a lawless world and thus, chaos is bound to happen.
J Hurley
J Hurley:
Fantstic video with real world advice. Please make more like this!
Ifan Ismail
Ifan Ismail:
In addition to "be patient", I think also need to be... Zen, about it. Otherwise one might go crazy. Keep doing 1 and 2 without get dragged down into dangerous territories (including easy way of ridiculing, or flat out conflict).
Garrett Adkins
Garrett Adkins:
This is cool and all but can you go further on the Grateful Dead being connected to Egypt.

Asking for a friend.
J.M .B
J.M .B:
Easier said than done, it's just too funny, it's imposible to keep straight face while listening to their believes..😂😂😂
Li Hung
Li Hung:
Hey kids, this video applies to everything in life, not just Qanon
Despondencymusic
Despondencymusic:
President Snow: Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective, a lot of hope is dangerous. A spark is fine, as long as it's contained.
TokyoJuul
TokyoJuul:
Fun Fact: The whole "Wayfair selling children as cabinets" thing started on reddit when someone was complaining about their cabinet prices. Qanons trolls came in with the explanation that it was that it was a front for selling childrens. However real reason they were listed so expensive ($10,000 - $13,000) was to restock the products so that no one would buy them until they had more without taking the listing down.
Boa
Boa:
Qrazies ANONymous! We really need to start a twelve step program for these people. It’s going to take them a long time to get out of the mind set.
Roja Janeman
Roja Janeman:
So... basically Gandhi’s non-violence method.
Not attacking. Not lashing out even if they do. And don’t give up, no matter how long it takes.
Julien Caesar
Julien Caesar:
Some great advice on how to deal with those that have been fooled.
I'd like to add best thing we can do is be kind and share information and remember the goal shouldn't be to always win an argument or prove your right.
The goal should be understanding of the truth.
Spencer Calvert
Spencer Calvert:
Very good content. Thanks for helping me kind to those that are confused about reality
Small_Calamity
Small_Calamity:
It’s funny because I took the first two steps with some Qanon supporter, and once I shared them info, they blocked me and cut off the connection themselves. Any advice on what to do in that scenario?
KK 81
KK 81:
Kirby Ferguson - thank you :)
kcjazzy
kcjazzy:
Thank you for this video. It was very insightful. I still think education matters but I will try and be more sympathatic.
Dori C
Dori C:
For anyone curious I highly reccommend a video by Folding Ideas called "in search of a flat earth".

He goes into the mindset of these consperacy theories and why trying to disprove them it a fool's errand. The people who believe these things aren't looking for facts, they're looking for confirmation.
random Swiftie
random Swiftie:
This was a great video thank you for the help!
UNRESTRICTED INFORMATION
UNRESTRICTED INFORMATION:
Interesting stuff 🤔
Connor Harris
Connor Harris:
Finally. A sensible and real video about how to respond to a Qanon... really, how to respond to anyone that you may think is blinded by conspiracies and misinformation. Be curious, nonjudgemental.. and don’t cut them off. It’s unproductive to attack them and just call them stupid. Compassion is obviously the only way through to them, and patience. Thank you NYTimes 🙏
King David
King David:
This message is so sorely belated.... If people on the left actually care about change - they have to treat people on the right with respect. “You can’t influence somebody you don’t respect.” Most of us are lovable vulnerable people. We need to start being nicer on the left. That is hard to hear - but I think it’s really true.
Jason Caputo
Jason Caputo:
I’ve been following this way, exactly as stated in the video, for a while now and have seen slow, positive change in a few friends. A key is to make sure respect and care for your fellow is at the root of your motivation. Sometimes that means you have to do some work to find that respect. For example, I have a friend who just rejects using any data because he thinks its all manipulated. Even though I find that a fatal flaw that leads him to outlandish conclusions, I do recognize he is also a very quick thinker in many ways, and is quite successful. And so I was not lying when I started our discussions with, “Look, I want to be sure you know, i know you are a really smart guy. So even though I disagree with your conclusions, I don’t want you to think I’m ever criticizing your intelligence.” And I will tell you that massively changed the tone of our conversations from then on.

Also, I find it most productive to be clear that our conversations are not about changing each other’s minds. Rather, it is simply for each of us to understand why the other believes what they do. This allows a less confrontational opportunity for both to understand t]and scrutinize their own reasoning, and a chance to discover our own faulty reasoning.

A final note is that, i think if either party gets exhausted by the conversation, there is a real,danger they will retreat to just ignoring what was said and just say, “well whatever” and re-embrace their former conclusions. So I try to make sure:

- we do not discuss at times when we are likely tired
- I try to take bite sized topics
- discuss one topic at a time without ping-ponging
- let the discussion end before either of us is exhausted, so a little post-Convo growth can happen for both of us.
Stefan Christoff
Stefan Christoff:
thanks, good video.
Converging Perspectives
Converging Perspectives:
The best thing I've heard on this yet.
Ark Newman
Ark Newman:
Healthy stuff.
Susanne Koch
Susanne Koch:
Santa is the biggest conspiracy and he is still there. Merry Christmas 🕊🌠🕊🌠😁😁😁
Pepins Spot
Pepins Spot:
I gave up a while ago trying to "influence" people. They will reject all the information in the world you give them. I just let them believe what they will and not talk to them anymore. Saved me tons of head aches.
TheCuilinn
TheCuilinn:
All great movements are popular movements. They are the volcanic eruptions of human passions and emotions, stirred into activity by the ruthless Goddess of Distress or by the torch of the spoken word cast into the midst of the people.
Hannah G
Hannah G:
Such an important video.
James Hughes
James Hughes:
The liberty-lovers love imagining others deprived of it—imprisoned, tortured, and killed.
Overpassing-Jumpsuit
Overpassing-Jumpsuit:
Yeah the only problem is the one in my family who believes this (and has since early on before this went mainstream) is high half the time, so he’s not thinking rationally when he posts this stuff. 🤷🏻‍♀️
Croco
Croco:
I understand this opinion, but most of us have run out of patience. At a certain point, the situation has gotten too ugly, and you can’t solve it the “right” way anymore, but we can’t afford to just “sit it out” because they are threatening violent insurrection.