Some diehard QAnon conspiracy theorists, in public and private internet forums and chat rooms, were filled with despair Wednesday as their prophecy of an Inauguration Day coup to keep Donald Trump in power failed again as President Joe Biden was sworn into office as the 46th President of the United States of America.
The gravity of the situation left some QAnon believers with no choice but to write off the conspiracy theory entirely, though others continued to keep faith that it was still ongoing.
“QAnon supporters believed Wednesday’s inauguration was an elaborate trap set by the former president, wherein Democrats would be rounded up and executed while Trump retained power. Various other doomsdays theorized by the QAnon community have also come and gone without incident,” NBC News reports. “But unlike those past days, Biden’s inauguration leaves the community with little daylight. As their predictions failed, radicalized QAnon members expressed their betrayal on messaging apps like Telegram and forums named after their failed doomsday scenario, The Great Awakening.”
As Biden took the oath of office just before noon, one top post on a QAnon forum read: “I don’t think this is supposed to happen” and wondered, “How long does it take the fed to run up the stairs and arrest him?”
“Anyone else feeling beyond let down?” one top post on a popular QAnon forum read. “It’s like being a kid and seeing the big gift under the tree thinking it is exactly what you want only to open it and realize it was a lump of coal.”
Real people, some of whom were arrested at the U.S. Capitol two weeks ago, believed in a completely made-up social media driven conspiracy for years.
It was embraced by Trump's allies.
And now many are coming to the realization it was completely a hoax: https://t.co/8LtasHgYwS
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) January 20, 2021
One of the largest QAnon groups on Telegram briefly closed comments to let everyone “take a breather,” after Biden’s inauguration.
When the comments reopened after charges of censorship, thousands of users commented, expressing a range of reactions: confusion and realization that QAnon was in fact a hoax, as well as renewed commitment to the conspiracy theory, despite its unreliability.
Some users in one QAnon chat said they felt “stupid” for having fallen for the elaborate hoax while others said they were sick to their stomachs and ready to “puke.”
Lots of anger in the QAnon group chats, with many people saying they want to throw up as they realize the mass arrests won't happen. If you or someone close to you is reconsidering QAnon after today, my DMs / email (will.sommer at https://t.co/TcGexoOgeZ) are open. pic.twitter.com/cDbXhswyUH
— Will Sommer (@willsommer) January 20, 2021