"thanks in part to QAnon’s rabid adherents on social media, stories about pedophiles have emerged as a huge traffic generator on Facebook and Twitter"
Late last week, a nearly six-year-old story made a comeback, blazing a trail through Facebook groups and Twitter accounts dedicated to the QAnon conspiracy theory and to supporting President Donald Trump.
“NBC Admits Hillary Clinton Used her Job to Cover up Pedophile Rings as Secretary of State,” read the false headline on a story from the Washington Pundit, which labeled the Obama-era story as “Breaking.”
The text was largely a transcript of an NBC News report from 2013 that aired allegations of a cover-up of sexual misconduct at the State Department while Hillary Clinton was in charge. The core allegations against an ambassador were later disproven and he received a public apology from the State Department. Clinton herself was not accused of anything directly, and NBC News “admitted” nothing.
A book that pushes the conspiracy theory Qanon climbed within the top 75 of all books sold on Amazon in recent days, pushed by Amazon’s algorithmically generated recommendations page.
“They absolutely exploited flaws in Amazon's algorithms,” Rothschild said. “They also know that Q has a small but devoted fan base that is willing to spend money. So if it gets a huge spike of sales just as it's released, it'll shoot up Amazon's lists and get in front of more people, even if those initial sales make up the bulk of who pays for it.”