Researchers say they have unmasked a major QAnon influencer

Researchers at the intelligence firm Logically said Tuesday that they have identified an influential figure in the QAnon conspiracy community who pushed dangerous narratives about coronavirus and child trafficking.

In a new report, researchers linked the Twitter handle “qthewakeup” to Jeremy “J.J.” Sicotte, a documentary filmmaker.

The account amassed over 140,000 followers on Twitter before being banned during one of the platform’s sweeps of QAnon-related accounts last year.

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Sicotte denied taking part in the account when reached for comment by Logically. The Hill was unable to reach Sicotte.

Qthewakeup played an influential role in spreading the false theory that Wayfair was selling trafficked children along with expensive furniture and was identified among a key cluster of accounts pushing the “Plandemic” conspiracy that coronavirus is a creation of governments aiming to complete authoritarian takeovers.

Accounts associated with qthewakeup also developed significant followings on Instagram and YouTube before being removed over the last year.

A qthewakeup channel that uses similar branding to the former Twitter account is active on the messaging service Telegram, but has less than 1,500 subscribers.

Researchers at Logically said they hope that unmasking qthewakeup will reduce the account's influence and dissuade it from boosting dangerous theories.

In cases where accounts evade deplatforming or rebrand, there’s “value in taking away that anonymity, especially when it's being weaponized to push harmful information,” lead investigator Nick Backovic told The Hill.

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“In some cases [anonymity] means they straight-up can lie about their identity,” he continued. “In other cases, because they are shielded from accountability … it allows them to post stuff that is more daring, more extremist and that makes the harmful content more dangerous.”

Researchers said they initially were investigating the Twitter account because of inconsistencies in the type of content it was posting but quickly found links to prominent QAnon figure Jordan Sather, who said in posts that the person running qthewakeup was a male friend who helped him film "Above Majestic," a 2018 documentary with heavy conspiracy themes.

Logically found that the account’s handle was “jjfromjupiter” when it was created in 2009, which researchers said appears to be a reference to Sicotte’s band at the time. Sicotte is a graduate of the Berklee College of Music.

Researchers said that analyzing interactions with the account ultimately led them to Sicotte. They were able to verify that the Twitter account was registered to a phone number and email belonging to Sicotte.

Sicotte told Logically that Sather had used his information for the account. Sather said he made the account, but declined to explain the earlier activity on it when contacted by Logically. He had said in a video on his Rumble channel this year that he would be starting a podcast soon with a friend who ran qthewakeup.

The Hill reached out to Sather for further comment.

The report comes as many segments of the conspiracy community have moved away from QAnon branding. The shadowy figure known as Q, who alleged that former President TrumpDonald TrumpNew Capitol Police chief to take over Friday Overnight Health Care: Biden officials says no change to masking guidance right now | Missouri Supreme Court rules in favor of Medicaid expansion | Mississippi's attorney general asks Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade Michael Wolff and the art of monetizing gossip MORE was working to expose a global network of Democratic elites and media figures trafficking children, has not posted on the image boards they crafted the theory on for several months.

While some of the most clearly QAnon elements have faded, the broader anti-institutionalist and anti-democracy movement borne out of the theory appears to be growing in strength and following.

Previous unmaskings of QAnon influencers have led to changes, researchers say.

After a Logically investigation revealed the identity of the individual behind QMap, a heavily trafficked site that compiled Q’s posts, the website was taken down.

Sicotte most recently produced a film about hospice care called “Death Is But a Dream” that was released earlier this year.