From Pizzagate to the Great Replacement: The Globalization of Conspiracy Theories

Cosentino, Gabriele

This chapter discusses the circulation of conspiracy theories evolving from concoctions of Internet subcultures to global topics of public conversation and political mobilization. The examples provided are those of the Pizzagate and QAnon conspiracy theories, which embody the anti-establishment ethos, the paranoid disposition and the ironic attitude of far-right on-line communities. The chapter analyzes the spreading of a set of myths, symbols and codes created by the 4chan and 8chan users within a global network of White ethnonationalists. The far-right anti-immigration conspiracy theory ‘The Great Replacement’ is discussed to explore the interlocking themes of White identity politics, trolling and the ‘weaponization’ of Internet entertainment.