Right-wing extremists are exploiting the fragmentation of Donald Trump's political movement to draw the former president's supporters even further into the white nationalist fringe.
As many Trump supporters flee mainstream social media sites for cracking down on hate speech, violent threats and disinformation, they're drawn increasingly into "smaller and smaller rabbit holes" where white nationalists are further radicalizing the former president's base -- especially QAnon conspiracy theorists, reported the Financial Times.
"They find them to be quite naive," said Mike Rains, who runs the Adventures in HellwQrld podcast and tracks the conspiracy theory.
Violent extremists saw the potential for Qanon adherents to serve as "cannon fodder" in their war to preserve white supremacy, according to experts, and neo-Nazis quickly infiltrated the "Parler Lifeboat" group set up by the Proud Boys after that social media platform was shut down -- although not all of that site's users were receptive to their message.
"Wtf is all this talk about patriots and Jews?! Seriously?!" read one response to an anti-Semitic post. "Patriot here. WWll veterans daughter. Patriots SAVED THE JEWISH PEOPLE. AND NO ONE SHOULD FORGET THAT."
But the QAnon cultists may find they share more views in common with neo-Nazis than they realize, because the conspiracy theory is at its core just a repackaging of anti-Semitic tropes.
"Everything about the Illuminati and the New World Order, you can trace it all back to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion," Rains said. "QAnon is basically predicated on hating people — radicalizing further into that belief system really isn't a stretch."