Researchers identify key QAnon influencer ‘GhostEzra’
Researchers at the intelligence firm Logically have identified a key member of the QAnon community who has used his significant platform to spread antisemitic conspiracies.
In a new report released Friday, the researchers identified the person behind “GhostEzra” as Robert Smart of Boca Raton, Fla.
GhostEzra has recently emerged as one of the most influential figures in far-right online spaces, amassing well over 300,000 Telegram channel subscribers since the beginning of the year.
The channel frequently spars with other QAnon influencers, something that has distinguished it from the other voices trying to fill the void left when the shadowy figure Q stopped posting on image boards last fall.
“Like with all movements, you are going to see factionalism once the main ‘leader’ goes away, and the fault lines of this factionalism usually have to do with ‘purity’,” Amarnath Amarasingam, assistant professor in the school of religion at Queen’s University, said in the report. “[GhostEzra] routinely criticizes other influencers as basically sellouts, as not true to the heart of the movement.”
GhostEzra has used his platform to spread antisemitic conspiracy theories that Jewish people control the media and banking as well as outright neo-Nazi propaganda.
The account also shares unsubstantiated theories about President Biden being dead, the 2020 election and coronavirus.
Researchers identified Smart as the individual behind GhostEzra using images taken from Telegram that led to Google and Yelp review accounts and in turn an email address.
The team also matched images of the inside of a home posted on GhostEzra’s account with those posted by Smart’s review accounts and social media profiles.
Smart appears to have previously run at least four QAnon Twitter accounts and was reported to have attended a Donald Trump Jr. speaking event in October.
Investigators at Logically did not receive a response when trying to contact Smart.
The Hill was unable to reach Smart.