The pro-Trump cable network One America News is cashing in on QAnon conspiracy theorists on its YouTube channel.
OAN viewers can pay $4.95 a month to become “members” of the right-wing channel, which then allows them to use customized emojis to signal their recognition of the conspiracy theory’s lore, reported The Daily Beast.
“It’s not clear how many people have signed up for the OAN YouTube membership, when OAN started offering the emojis, or how many of those sign-ups were driven by the opportunity to use QAnon emojis,” writes The Beast’s Will Sommer. “But the creation of the emojis reflects a decision to monetize, not expel, the conspiracy believers. If QAnon fans are going to spam QAnon in the OAN comments, it seems the network has decided they might as well get some money out of it.”
OAN members can use the emoji — which feature more innocuous graphics such as Trump and a can of Goya beans or more explicitly conspiratorial images like red-white-and-blue Qs — to comment on the networks’ videos and live streams.
Other emoji represent MyPillow founder Mike Lindell, who frequently appears on Fox News and at Trump rallies, and Trump supporter Vincent Fusca, who QAnon believers think is the late John F. Kennedy Jr. in disguise.
Another spells out “GITMO” in yellow and black, referring to the QAnon belief that top Democrats and Hollywood celebrities will be arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay.
The network helped Rudy Giuliani promote conspiracy theories the intelligence community believes originated in the Kremlin, and was the source of a bogus claim that an elderly protester injured by police in Buffalo was trying to infiltrate police communications.
But this is the first time OAN has shown an explicit outreach to QAnon believers, who the FBI have identified as potential terrorism threats.