Facebook Outage Sends QAnon Followers into Conspiracy Frenzy

QAnon conspiracy theorists were sent into a frenzy after Facebook and other social media apps went down for several hours.

The mass outage affected Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp and lasted for about six hours on Monday and left billions of users unable to access their accounts.

Facebook shares dropped by around 4.9 percent on Monday, wiping some $40 billion from the company's value.

In a statement, Facebook blamed the outage on issues with its systems and insisted no user data had been compromised.

While the sites were down QAnon conspiracy theorists—many of whom have migrated away from the major social media platforms—began to theorize what the outage represented.

John Sabal, known on Telegram as QAnon John, questioned whether the outage could be the so-called "Blackout."

Followers of the repeatedly debunked QAnon conspiracy believe the event would result in a 10-day nationwide blackout that would then usher in mass arrests of global elites involved in a child sex trafficking ring.

To support his claim, QAnon John referred to a post shared on messageboard website 4Chan on Monday—written by someone who claimed to work for "a major global internet entity who claimed a global internet outage would hit social media networks and then the rest of the internet and last 15 minutes.

He said: "Someone on /pol/ (4Chan politics board) knew beforehand what was coming. Could this be the blackout?"

Newsweek found the post had been shared a few minutes after the outage happened. This was also picked up by several users on the racist-slur-ridden messageboard.

Ron Watkins, the man accused by some to be behind the QAnon conspiracy cult, questioned whether the outage could have been a form of damage control after whistleblower Frances Haugen made several explosive claims about Facebook.

Sharing his unfounded claim on Telegram, Watkins said: "Is Facebook down because of the FB whistleblower? Shutting down your service is the nuclear option of ensuring a specific item is not shared on your platform,

"It could also be a distraction meant to guide your eyes from the whistleblower."

Both QAnon John and Ron Watkins have hundreds of thousands of Telegram followers between them.

They will also be appearing at this month's For God and Country: Patriot Double Down weekend convention that will host several people who follow the QAnon conspiracy theory.

Among those attending include several Republican politicians who believe the 2020 Presidential Election was stolen from Donald Trump.

The unfounded claims have not produced evidence President Joe Biden benefitted from widespread election fraud.

qanon Anthony Beckett
QAnon followers questioned what could have been behind the outage. In this photo, a person wears a QAnon sweatshirt during a pro-Trump rally on October 3, 2020 in the borough of Staten Island in New York City. Getty Images