So a troll named "Q Clearance Patriot" (Q Clearance implies they have Top Secret clearance on nuclear weapons and materials), got on 4chan (2018.10.28), and later 8chan,and trolled about all sorts of silly stuff about worldwide conspiracy theories such as, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz hired MS-13 to murder DNC staffer Seth Rich, or Robert Mueller isn't actually investigating Trump, he was appointed by Trump to investigate Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and other top Democrats for their involvement in planting evidence, or a global pedophile ring. After getting thrown off Reddit, they created an App called QDrops to spread their more and more absurd theories, and a few right wing celebrities tweeted stuff.
This blew up when among the 8,000 filled seats in Trump's Tampa rally, were maybe a dozen people wearing T-Shits with QAnon, or holding up "We are Q signs"... and a few of them seemed to be involved in chanting "CNN Sucks" over the appropriately named CNN FakeNews mouthpiece and polemic hack Jim Acosta. Disagreeing with CNN just for being rude, incompetent and being wrong so often, was the last straw. Many unbiased media snowflakes tweeted how bad it was to claim "CNN sucks" and overdramatic, so they compared that to an "Erdogan-style crackdown on his media critics", and calling Trump supporters White Trash, Nazi's, the KKK, and calling for them to be euthanized.... all in the name of benevolent moderation, of course. And to those media outlets, it is the Trump supporters that are scary and using overblown hate/rhetoric? Seriously!
The problem to me seems to be that the media is not in on the joke that many of these folks are just punking the media. The alt-right is filled with trolls that dick with the media for attention, and a lot of their followers do too -- they get geek credit for getting the media to repeat false memes that were created to outrage the media and the far-left. There's little evidence they actually believe the shit they spout, there's a ton of evidence that they enjoy pretending they do, because it outrages the left, and the media creates clickbait headlines and sensationalizes the conspiracy (which proves to them how bad/gullible the media is). Of the dozen that showed up to a Trump rally, I expect that 8 are enjoying punking the media, and 4 are true believers of any batshit theory that makes the media or left look bad. Meanwhile, 60% of ALL Democrats in polls think Socialism had positive impacts on society (if you ignore the 180M murdered last century by them). Which is more scary to you? If you think the former, you probably watch CNN without laughing.
I don't know how many people, or celebrities, believe this whole QAnon thing, or are just following the trend, or just jerking at the media that fucks with them first. I think there's likely at least as many trolls as true believers. Alex Jones and Jerome Corsi, known for loving a good conspiracy theory, repeated one or two of the conspiracies that went across, then later denounced them. A few others slipped things that referenced a Q created conspiracy, and usually quickly removed them after vetting. But of course FakeNews outlets like Newsweek, sensationalized the whole thing. , as have all the big outlets. Pretending this is a mass movement by the conservative party, when this has fewer true followers than Ocasio Cortez's economics.
So I'm not convinced Q is real and the media isn't being played. But even if there are a few hundred followers, by sensationalizing this, and drawing attention to it -- the media is still the biggest problem. They see it as an opportunity to attack a handful of right fanatics who will believe anything, while failing to understand that at least a few of them are trolling them and they are the problem when they sensationalize this stuff for attention. It's getting to the point where the media saying that the other side is wrong, is automatically assumed to be the exact opposite of truth, because they're wrong so often.