The so-called “QAnon” movement continues to gain steam as its adherents are putting their money where their mouths are by committing acts of violence. After the FBI recently designated the right-wing group as a domestic terrorism threat, QAnon has come under great scrutiny by the general public.
While social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are finally taking action to remove QAnon content, not everyone is following suit. As of writing, two of the top three online retailers in the United States — Amazon and eBay — continue to permit its users to sell a variety of QAnon merchandise.
In case readers are unaware, QAnon began as a fringe online community roughly five years ago, as did Pizzagate. Both conspiracy theories revolve around the notion that, together, various “world elites” are operating a massive child sex slavery cartel. Surprising no one, the supposed culprits are the typical right-wing targets: Hollywood, Democrats, and Jews. They’re allegedly part of an insidious “Deep State” which manages to pull all of the strings of power in this country. It’s a curious mashup of cliché antisemitic rantings, the Satantic daycare panic of the 1980s, and a general affinity for political persecution.
However, for Qanon-ers, there is a hero secretly working to dismantle this evil cabal: Donald Trump.
Yes, it’s as absurd as it sounds. Even still, it’s a group that’s taken on a very real life outside of 4chan and Reddit. Per the FBI, the movement is a very real threat to Americans now. Unfortunately though not at all surprisingly, making a buck seems to take priority over not selling domestic terrorism propaganda.
A quick search on Amazon finds “over 1,000” results, including an enormous number of clothing items, flags, posters, books, and coffee mugs — virtually anything you can slap poorly stylized Q or “WWG1WGA” (a shortening of the groups’ incoherent rallying cry, “Where we go one we go all”) on.
Among the top results are is a $22 paperback authored by the renowned right-wing thinker and author, “WWG1WGA” — yes, that is the name printed on the cover. The book, “QAnon: An Invitation to The Great Awakening,” has been selling rather well, if the more than 2,200 reviews (averaging 4.5 stars) are any indication. Listed next to it is a popular ebook titled “QAnon and 1000 Years of Peace: Destroying the New World Order and Taking the Kingdom of Christ by Force” by the unusually named “Redpill TheWorld” [sic].
While “1,000 years of peace” — a recurring phrase found among the QAnon — could be taken as a reference to a line from the Bibles’ Book of Revelations, it’s also not impossible that it is also a reference to Adolf Hitler’s infamous “1,000 year Reich” speech (itself a nod to Revelations). Given the QAnon movement’s undeniable affinity for antisemitism, is it a stretch?
While that’s rather blunt, there are also a few sellers on Amazon who’ve gone for the more subtle approach of inserting “88” into their prices. (“88” refers to the eight letter of the English alphabet, H, twice — “Heil Hitler”). But those prices sure are hard to pass up — a black ceramic mug for only $28.88!
Over on eBay, it’s not any better. Nearly 20,000 results were returned for “QAnon,” much of it the same type of eye-scarringly tacky merchandise. From a $50 silver coin with a big Q on it to more hoodies featuring the Punisher skull, it was all there.
Don’t worry, though. Some of these sellers on eBay are being diligent about adhering to the website’s policies, as can be seen in the censorship of the word “fuck” on a shirt in this listing:
As if there remained much doubt as to wh
ether or not eBay is fine with their platform being used to sell merchandise affiliated with domestic terrorists, my searches quickly turned up a good number of “sponsored” items (sellers on eBay have the option to pay extra to have their listings appear at the top of search results). Such items would be subject to screening, at the very least, one would think.
As it stands now, Amazon and eBay appear to be content to look the other way as long as they keep making money.