On Friday, Roseanne Barr tweeted a message that left a lot of people scratching their heads — and some conspiracy theorists applauding her.
The tweet praised Trump for breaking up human trafficking rings around the world. Barr also cryptically alluded to human bondage in unnamed, unspecified "high places."
On the one hand, a MAGA tweet from Barr is unsurprising. She's expressed a wide swath of political views over the years, but has strongly supported Trump's presidency.
On ABC's revival of her hit '90s sitcom, Roseanne, the title character is also pro-Trump.
The show has already been renewed for another season.
But speculation started swirling that the trafficking tweet was actually referencing a bizarre right-wing conspiracy theory known as "QAnon," or "The Storm."
Barr, however, pushed back by saying she was just celebrating Trump's legitimate policies.
So what exactly is "QAnon" and "The Storm"?
They're part of a pro-Trump mega–conspiracy theory that claims, among other things, that top Democrats are secret Satan worshippers running a global child sex trafficking ring and Trump is going to take them down.
A spokesperson for Barr did not immediately return a request for comment.
"The Storm" is related to Pizzagate, a right-wing conspiracy theory which claims Democrats are involved in a pedophile sex ring run inside Comet Ping Pong, a pizza restaurant in DC.
Pizzagate came to a head in December 2016, when a man fired a rifle inside the restaurant after he went there to "self-investigate" the theory.
Where did "The Storm" begin? Who is "QAnon"?
Well, it all started on 4chan, as many of these sorts of things do.
As Select All explained shortly after the theory's conception, an anonymous 4channer who went by Q posted a thread in October 2017 in /pol/, the site's political discussion board (and a hotbed of white supremacist views and conspiracy theories).
The thread was titled "Calm Before the Storm," likely in reference to a cryptic statement Trump had made earlier that month in which he told reporters, without explanation, that they were witnessing "the calm before the storm."
Claiming to be a high-ranking government worker with knowledge of White House affairs, Q (aka "QAnon") would post incredibly vague "crumbs" of intel about Trump getting ready to take down the Deep State, pedophilia rings and all.
Thanks to a few coincidences and a lot of collective mental gymnastics (such as a photo of some islands being taken as evidence that Q was aboard Air Force One), a lot of people believed Q and dedicated themselves to deciphering his messages.
In the months since it started, "The Storm" has spread to YouTube, Reddit, Twitter, and pretty much anywhere else conspiracy theories proliferate.
Barr has tweeted about "QAnon" before, which led to the speculation her trafficking tweet was related to "The Storm."
In Nov. 2017 — just about three weeks after the conspiracy theory first kicked off — Barr tweeted a question: "who is Q?"
Five minutes later, she tweeted "tell Qanon to DM me in the nexxt 24 hours."
Shortly after these tweets, Barr's Twitter account went down and her website temporarily disappeared, Entertainment Daily reported at the time. (According to the Daily Beast, the website issues were due to routine maintenance.)
A few hours later, Barr returned to Twitter, saying she was "OK and back." She told her followers "thank you for worrying" and said she'd share an "explanation later on." (She never did.)
Still, some were not convinced it was really her, and replied asking for evidence an imposter hadn't taken over her Twitter.
And the following December, she temporarily quit Twitter (and deleted all her tweets in the process) after going on an angry tirade praising Trump and lambasting liberals.
She returned to the platform in January.
Whether she believes in "The Storm" or not, we probably won't get further clarification from Barr — she said she's not going to tweet about the issue again.
Julia Reinstein is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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