QAnon supporters speculated Tuesday night that Facebook's new ban on all QAnon groups and sites was part of a complex plan by the Trump administration to eradicate the "deep state" and arrest its enemies. Or the social media company tried to stifle the impending news that President Trump was about to crack down on his enemies.
QAnon believers made both arguments. Neither was true.
Earlier on Tuesday, Facebook announced that it would remove any group, page or Instagram account associated with the QAnon conspiracy. Hundreds of groups were gone within 24 hours, many of them with hundreds of thousands of followers.
After the ban, QAnon believers began to speculate on Twitter and other social media platforms that Facebook's move was a sign that the moment they had predicted – Mr Trump reveals his long battle with satanic pedophiles – had finally come was.
A tweet, which was popular almost 1,000 times, related to the announcement of a press conference by the Justice Department on Wednesday morning on the subject of "national security". The tweet alleged the Justice Department was preparing indictments against a number of senior Democrats, including Hillary Clinton.
Similar tweets from QAnon believers said the press conference would have even bigger news, including an appearance by Mr Trump to announce that he had arrested hundreds of members of a shadow group that QAnon believers falsely claim to be secretly satanic Cabal led. Many of these tweets have also been shared and liked hundreds of times.
The investigation and arrest of several members of the Islamic State terrorist organization was detailed at the press conference held by the Justice Department on Wednesday. There was no mention of the satanic cabal that QAnon supporters claim Mr. Trump is fighting against.
But after the conference ended, QAnon's supporters claimed that the Justice Department would implement the sweeping conspiracy theory its members had developed over the years.
Researchers studying QAnon said it was typical of the group to include new conspiracies in their narrative to accommodate inaccurate predictions. Travis View, a host on QAnon Anonymous, a podcast designed to explain the movement, said the group had already advocated the idea that a surprise would come in October or November.
Conspiracy theories, Mr. View said, have a way of living on even after repeatedly proven wrong.