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
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
halneufmille
halneufmille:
"One should not believe everything on the Internet."

- Abraham Lincoln
Rosanna Flores
Rosanna Flores:
"Think of how stupid the average person is,,, and realize half of them are stupider than that"

George Carlin-
Lander Reyniers
Lander Reyniers:
They have the "Q", we just need to give them the "I".
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!
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."
Jainish
Jainish:
Soon to be conspiracy theories-
-hats aren’t real, they are projections by NASAs on people’s heads
-Owls are a hoax perpetrated by the democrats, do you really think a bird can turn its head by 180 degrees
- also if 15 is bigger than 5 why does it start with 1, something is fishy
Adrian
Adrian:
The whole save the children thing reminds me a lot of the satanic panic in the 80's, except worse.
Chance Jin-Koh
Chance Jin-Koh:
One of the hardest things to do is remain open to the fact that you could be wrong.
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.
Surge
Surge:
Qanon peeps think they’re Nick Cage from National Treasure. This ain’t Da Vinci Code guys.
nate k
nate k:
weird that you put up a picture of Noam Chomsky with pictures of the CHAZ......... Chomsky has only ever talked about anarchy within the abstract realm of political theory. His lifetime of activism and academic achievement extends so much further. He had very little to say about the CHAZ in Seattle this summer and certainly didn't champion the idea. The New York times reaches a huge audience, and many of them may have never heard of Chomsky. Extremely irresponsible and honestly a little unsettling to see him pop up in this context.
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.
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.
Quan Nguyen
Quan Nguyen:
Dunning-Kruger effect it the grandest of scales.
rob beach
rob beach:
‘The earth is 6000 years old’
‘But what about dinosaur bones?’
‘God put them there to test our faith’
Religion. The original conspiracy theory
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?
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...
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.
sunnylilme
sunnylilme:
If you show them facts that disprove the theory..that's what the deep state planted to fool you.
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
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.
painterbw
painterbw:
Question: "What Can You Do About QAnon? Answer: Not one f*****g thing!
Patricia Hayes
Patricia Hayes:
Amazing that a lot of these QAnon people look like they've escaped from a psychiatric hospital.
Sam John
Sam John:
CONTRA FEATURED FOR A SECOND this is lovely
--
--:
Thank you for this video. My mother is an anon. I made a few of the mistakes you mentioned. I will try to approach the subject a little gentler.
Muhammad.Anugerah.A
Muhammad.Anugerah.A:
By the time you lose half of your *IQ* and leave only *Q* left.
keith brown
keith brown:
I like your communist propaganda what happens when you’re in a blackout
LordMerekIV
LordMerekIV:
this is the consequence of killing real journalism
Izabella
Izabella:
This. didnt. age. well. THEY STORMED THE CAPITOL
Steve Deasy
Steve Deasy:
The problem is belief and belief that things should be a certain way. The problem is non-acceptance of cognitive dissonance.
Brian Beeler
Brian Beeler:
_"Instead of looking at QAnon followers
as a force to be defeated, look at them as fellow flawed humans you can positively influence. This isn't some contest you need to win. Anons are just people like us. They're not mentally ill. They're not beyond redemption."_

Former NY Times Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Hedges has been saying this for years about the majority of Trump supporters. They're folks that have been "left behind" in this ever changing world, lost without a purpose and are seeking meaning. Unable to accept change and adapt to the world as it is they retreat into "magical thinking" and religious beliefs that strain credulity. Shunning them and ridiculing them will only further alienate them. They must be reintegrated into society.

QAnon followers can be reintegrated into society by helping them to connect with their neighbors. I use to live in a city where people were free [without permission or permit] to open a cafe, bodega, etc. in their home. Every morning I met with a few of my neighbors at a cafe one block over for coffee. We just chatted about life. We need the same here in the States. A way for people to connect in real life and not just through a keyboard.
MrNoobomnenie
MrNoobomnenie:
6:26
Putting Anarchism in a same league as QAnon is just peak liberalism. "Never worker anywhere ever"? Tell this to a Ukrainian Black Army. Or revolutionary Catalonia. Or Zapatistas. Or Rojava.
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.
Félix R.A.
Félix R.A.:
I've been kind, comprehensive, not insulting, etc. Sent straight facts to rectify crazy claims... and got blocked. What else?
Achiles Redemptia
Achiles Redemptia:
with the era of internet, this kind community is not really surprising actually 🙄
Patrick Theil
Patrick Theil:
"they are not mentally ill"
...But we should basically treat them like they are mentally ill?
RJ Abundo
RJ Abundo:
When you've lost hope and fulfillment and detached yourself from reality, you resort to conspiracies
Nicholas Riley
Nicholas Riley:
There is somethings truly amiss and these folks see it, but their attempts to make sense of the problem fall short because they construct easy and immediate answers that require them to sacrifice nothing.
Gediminas Bulatovas
Gediminas Bulatovas:
And here I thought that the internet has long since decided that feeding the trolls is not the way to go...
C
C:
This is really useful. Especially on how to deal with QAnon.
Josh T
Josh T:
The New York times is going to condemn other people's information when they've been wrong more than they've been right over the past four years
h3rmzi
h3rmzi:
this was a waste of my time
Purple RINO
Purple RINO:
I was about to write something ridiculous against QAnon... I didn’t... that was a good video!
Larisa 7
Larisa 7:
I really enjoyed the simplicity n breakdown of this Story, thank you for reporting thank you very much
Bert Lammens
Bert Lammens:
Oh no people believe in conspiracy theories!! We must censor!!
kosmonarrat
kosmonarrat:
These people are in a crisis mode. They think everything is a lie but anything that confirms their beliefs. It's like the same people who hate socialism but want to claim money form Social Security. I have no idea how to get through years of misinformation and blind hate. They hate and they don't know why.
Casie_gg
Casie_gg:
The amazing thing about humans is that we never stop learning.
Eggy Patrick
Eggy Patrick:
QAnon is what happens when your stay at home soccer mom gets a hold of the internet
Edit: great video by the way
Johnny Lotto
Johnny Lotto:
I love how this ends with how to treat someone who’s been infected by Qanon.
Oliver Quach
Oliver Quach:
Yes!! Thank you so much for this! Take it from me, I have people very close to me who I love very much who are anti-vaxxers. Ridicule, mockery, insults or isolation are NOT effective in changing anyone’s mind. Anti-vaxxers deep down think they’re doing right by their children the same way we all do. My advice is to take it slow, they didn’t succumb to misinformation overnight and you can’t expect them to come back around overnight either.

A lot of people still don’t understand this. I’ll be sharing this video around! Thanks for making this.
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?
iNeverCouldGetTheHangOfThursdays
iNeverCouldGetTheHangOfThursdays:
Stares directly into the sun and points at it - 5D chess.
Christ
Christ:
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
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.
Daniel Nahim Georgr Ferretis
Daniel Nahim Georgr Ferretis:
How to deal with them?, simple : A LOADED SHOTGUN!
Shawn Schick
Shawn Schick:
As a "thinker" when do I get to have my psychotic break?
Davi Soares
Davi Soares:
This is exactly what I was needing to watch to know how to deal with my family. Thank you!
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.
emmerson mclellan-campbell
emmerson mclellan-campbell:
4:44 OMG Contrapoints she has made it big
Hermes Agoraeus
Hermes Agoraeus:
8:47 _Imagine_ a comments section either kind and gentle, or neutral.
Jérémie Kalfon
Jérémie Kalfon:
I think we do not have enough evidence that humiliation is not working. should try a bit longer just to be sure.
Nick Snow
Nick Snow:
Chomsky as comparable to Bill Moyers as comparable to Trump? I think not NYT; still miffed about Manufacturing Consent?
SateliteMike DataPro
SateliteMike DataPro:
They said the same thing about LDS and scientology
Frank x
Frank x:
When the pandemic is gone and the nice hot summer sun is shining and the boobs can be seen again. We will come back to senses.
Devon James
Devon James:
Thank you for articulating this idea. This is what I've been thinking every time I see shows like John Oliver. It's funny, but it's obviously not working, and every once in awhile (e.g. when John Oliver talks about some foreign countries) it's just as ignorant as the people he usually criticizes.
Nick
Nick:
"Theres something wrong with this man"
13
13:
"They're not mentally ill" hmmmmmm
Liron BERISHA
Liron BERISHA:
This QAnon saga is a great lesson to why people should never underestimate a large group specially if they are morons.
71Gaviam
71Gaviam:
Once Qanon has fizzled out something just as absurd will replace it. If someone is inclined to believe such a thing they’ll probably do it over and over.
Bayu Aditya H
Bayu Aditya H:
Nah, if someone spread false information on my inner groups, I just share to them a link to our ministry of information website that say that spreading hoaxes can lead you to jail. Works every times.
poibella
poibella:
Hegemonic narrative comes out against anarchism. So brave.
Weronika Krähe
Weronika Krähe:
I love this videos message - we all make mistakes. Thank you!
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.
Andrew Johnson
Andrew Johnson:
Great video. Substantive content. Needed message.

Consider re-posting this with the title “What Q-Anon gets right”

It would be a Clickbait version of the title, but more welcoming to those who need to hear it most, and representative of the reasonable evenhanded tone called for.
Henry Tube
Henry Tube:
In middle School I learned what facts are and how important they are. This seems to be grown up drama.
Henry Tube
Henry Tube:
In middle School I learned what facts are and how important they are. This seems to be grown up drama.
Henry Tube
Henry Tube:
In middle School I learned what facts are and how important they are. This seems to be grown up drama.
Danielle Calderon
Danielle Calderon:
Who is watching this after the Capitol riot
Melissa O
Melissa O:
Well done ! Thank you for the much needed advice on what to do about a Q-Anon supporter !
amanda farish
amanda farish:
Thank you for expressing the internal struggle of falling down the rabbit hole that is human psychology in 2020.
Papa Robotnik
Papa Robotnik:
This is the most beautiful advice, ever ❤
Dada Haiku
Dada Haiku:
I question them relentlessly. 😂
Ricardo Rocha
Ricardo Rocha:
“Where is Hunter” ? “Come on man” :))
Patrick Perales
Patrick Perales:
OH YEAH

NEW YORK TIMES = OPERATION MOCKINGBIRD
TheAdventurer24
TheAdventurer24:
This is a beautiful video. Thank you very much.
juan vazquez
juan vazquez:
Thank you so much for this video.
I hope people who have a broader perspective about life and society understand that how important it is to not just make fun of the "anons".
Hannah Sharma
Hannah Sharma:
The 4d chess thing just sends me lol I'm so lost
Hosue Rodriguez
Hosue Rodriguez:
I like how they turned around back on us liberal types for our beliefs. It's a clever video.
MuckyWaters
MuckyWaters:
QAnon sprung from the fringes of the Flat Earth community, they were kicked out because they were too wacko for them.
gxd7171 *
gxd7171 *:
5:02 It's our boy Jreg!
William Crosswhite
William Crosswhite:
This was an amazing video and I look forward to more videos like it.
Kerstin tryggen
Kerstin tryggen:
Sorry new york Times, i thought i was watching bbc. But why do u take down my comment for calling out mainstream medias hypocracy with elite pedo rings?
Robby Huang
Robby Huang:
I knew I recognized that voice! Kirby Ferguson, outstanding work as always.
Sarah Bethea
Sarah Bethea:
This is a great video!
I do think Qanon is much more serious, much more dangerous, than other conspiracies.
Many, but not all, Q followers have violent ideations or intent, some of them have commented on my videos on this subject that people on the left should be imprisoned or put in re-education camps, and in their forums I have seen much talk of “bullets not ballots”, and the need to overturn democracy. This stuff is also rife with antisemitism and racism.
It’s clear we have a major epistemological crisis, where people cannot agree on what is true. It’s going to be hard thing to fix.
Again, great video NYT
Chris Dotson
Chris Dotson:
2:32 Fascinating, A major news outlet placing religions on the same pedestal as medical magic and pagan/Christian superstitions. Now as an atheist myself I'm not saying that I find this to be necessarily inaccurate, but it's just a sign of how far things have come and how much things have changed over the past 10-20 years. You'd never see something like this even 10 years ago.
Andrew S
Andrew S:
Nah they're mentally ill. Facts don't matter, so there's nothing to base reality on.
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.
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!