Qanun: The famous Q could have been recognized thanks to artificial intelligence

Two teams of researchers believe they’ve identified the person who’s been hiding for years under the pseudonym Q and is behind the QAnon theory. Surprisingly, there will be even two.

What if the founder of the Qunun conspiracy movement, a man named Q, was finally identified? The The New York Times They shared the findings of two independent teams of forensic linguists who claimed to have identified not one, but two individuals hiding behind this famous pseudonym. Even more surprisingly, the two teams, who worked with different protocols, identified the same people.

This mysterious Q, whose name will be a reference to the level of secret defense clearance in the United States, first appeared on the web on October 28, 2017, on the American forum 4chan. In the wake of Pizzaa conspiracy theory targeting Hillary Clinton that there is a network of pedophiles in the Democratic camp, these regularly published messages are presented as alerts to an alleged plot organized by the “deep state” against Donald Trump.

On these letters two teams of scholars worked. The first, from Swiss startup OrphAnalytics, cut the messages into three-character sequences, then analyzed their frequency to compare them to messages sent by six potential authors. The second team, the French, relied on artificial intelligence and machine learning To compare Q’s posts with those of 13 potential authors.

Up to 99% confidence in identification

Rather than without consulting each other, the two teams first identified Paul Furber, a software developer based in South Africa. He would be the first to post under the pseudonym Q. The second author gradually took over, until he became the only one to use the Q account after migrating from 4chan to 8kun. It will be American conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins, the son of the founder of 8kun. So confident that scientists have reported a level of certainty ranging, depending on the difference, from 93 to 99% about these definitions. call before The New York TimesBoth men denied involvement.

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This is not the first time that machine learning Used to identify the author. Another popular case dates back to 2013, when J.K. Rowling, the “mother” of the Harry Potter series, was identified as the secret writer of the Harry Potter story. cuckoo call, a detective novel written under a pseudonym by Robert Galbraith. However, in the case of Q, this discovery is more problematic for the authors of the letters, as the theories that partially formed the idea of ​​an election stolen from Donald Trump and led to the events on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021 have been transmitted.


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