Two sets of forensic linguists have published two separate papers using two different techniques to conclude that Q appears to be two people: South African tech journalist Paul Furber, 55, and 4chan internet message board moderator and computer entrepreneur Ron Watkins, 34, according to the studies.
‘While relying on two completely different technologies, both stylometric [quantitative study of literary style] analyses could establish that QAnon’s early period on the 4chan forum, from October to December 2017, was likely the result of a collaboration between Paul Furber and Ron Watkins,’ according to Claude-Alain Roten, the CEO of OrphAnalytics.
Roten, who worked with Lionel Pousaz, a partner at OrphAnalytics, took the writings of several people identified as potential Q originators and analyzed writings they had authored then cross-referenced it using computer software with early QAnon posts.
‘Open your eyes. Many in our govt worship Satan,’ was the first post on October 2017 that launched the movement, according to The New York Times, which was given exclusive access to the linguistics studies.
When reached by the Times, Furber didn’t dispute that Q’s writing resembled his own, while Watkins, who is running for Congress in Arizona, told the NYT: ‘I am not Q.’
‘An accidental stylistic resemblance between Watkins and a still-to-be identified author seems quite unlikely,’ said Florian Cafiero, a visiting scholar at Columbia University who co-authored the study with Jean-Baptiste Camps from the French École des Chartes.
Roten and Pousaz concluded that Furber and Watkins worked together initially, but when the message board migrated to 8chan, Watkins took over. Watkins’ father reportedly owned the 8chan message board.
Furber told The New York Times that his writing may bare a resemblance to Q because he was so heavily influenced by the moderator’s style.
In a telephone interview with The Times from his home near Johannesburg, Furber didn’t dispute that Q’s writing resembled his own. Instead, he claimed that Q’s posts had influenced him so deeply that they altered his prose.
It ‘took over our lives, literally,’ Furber told the paper. ‘We all started talking like him.’
More bluntly, Watkins told The Times: ‘I am not Q.’ But he defended the messages behind the movement.
There is probably more good stuff than bad,’ he told The Times, enumerating the valuable messages like ‘fighting for the safety of the country, and for the safety of the children of the country.’
Watkins has been outed before. In March 2021, HBO launched a docuseries called ‘Q: Into the Storm’ which traces the origins of QAnon to Watkins, whose father owns the 8chan forum.
Pousaz defended his unmasking of the QAnon founders as important social science.
‘QAnon is going to fuel social studies for a long time, and maybe even history, as one of the most singular and concerning movements of our time. As such, identifying its authors and their motivations is of great importance to orient future debates,’ says Pousaz, a co-inventor at OrphAnalytics.
This is an excerpt from Daily Mail.
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