On Amazon, a Qanon Conspiracy Book Climbs the Charts — with an Algorithmic Push

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From NBC News:

A book that pushes the conspiracy theory Qanon climbed within the top 75 of all books sold on Amazon in recent days, pushed by Amazon’s algorithmically generated recommendations page.

“QAnon: An Invitation to the Great Awakening,” which has no stated author, ranked at No. 56 at press time, was featured in the algorithmically generated “Hot new releases” section on Amazon’s books landing page. The book claims without evidence a variety of outlandish claims including that prominent Democrats murder and eat children and that the U.S. government created both AIDS and the movie Monsters Inc.

The Qanon conspiracy theory moved from fringe parts of the internet in 2018 to achieve national prominence thanks to supporters of President Donald Trump who wore clothes and held signs referencing “Q” at political rallies.

. . . .

Adherents of the Qanon conspiracy theory falsely believe that the world is run by a Satanic cabal helmed by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that President Donald Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller are secretly working in tandem to eliminate the cabal.

The book, “An Invitation to the Great Awakening,” is currently No. 9 in all books about politics, and No. 1 in all books about “Censorship,” one slot ahead of Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451,” and immediately followed by classics “Lord of the Flies,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” and “Of Mice and Men.”

. . . .

Amazon declined to answer questions about the book’s placement in the algorithmic recommendations carousels, including about whether the book might have been recommended to users on other sections of the site.

At several points last weekend, the book was a spot behind Dr. Seuss’ “Green Eggs and Ham” on the Top 100.

. . . .

Conspiracy theory researcher Mike Rothschild told NBC News that “An Invitation to the Great Awakening” is a new way for those pushing the Qanon conspiracy theory to make cash, since recent changes to YouTube’s algorithm have made it harder for conspiracy theorists to find new followers and cash in on true believers.

“They absolutely exploited flaws in Amazon’s algorithms,” Rothschild said. “They also know that Q has a small but devoted fan base that is willing to spend money. So if it gets a huge spike of sales just as it’s released, it’ll shoot up Amazon’s lists and get in front of more people, even if those initial sales make up the bulk of who pays for it.”

Link to the rest at NBC News and thanks to Nate at The Digital Reader for the tip.

PG says a mention on NBC will give the book another big boost. It was #14 on Amazon’s Top 100 bestsellers when PG made this post. It hadn’t caught up with The Wonky Donkey, however.

7 thoughts on “On Amazon, a Qanon Conspiracy Book Climbs the Charts — with an Algorithmic Push”

  1. Ah yes, makes me wish we had some things from the good old days. Like bookstore owners who would say, ‘That’s trash’ we won’t stock that one 🙂

    • I can certainly see where you are coming from Lucy but I can’t agree. I will assume this book is indeed trash as reported, since I haven’t read it and have no desire to simply from the descriptions I have seen. However, if people want to read trash then they are entitled to do so. I’m sure many sensible book stores today would stock it for one reason alone. That it is apparently selling heaps of books! Apparently mores the pity, but it is what it is.

      • One must remember that (to mangle an aphorism) “One man’s trash is another man’s (comedy) gold.”

        While I won’t waste any of my currently limited funds on this book, I do own two books by Velikovsky, and von Daniken’s “Chariots of the Gods.”

        I have to say that every time I hear about “Q” I think that people are referring to John de Lancie’s STNG character, not oddball conspiracy theories. That “Q” was annoying enough…

    • The old days?
      The days when those same bookstores had no problem with stocking trash books about UFOs, Nibiru, ancient aliens, chinese ships discovering the americas, or conspiracy theories about the moon landings, 9/11, the Illuminati, Skull and Bones, etc, etc. Or junk science books about DDT, cyclamates, or aspartame? Or diet books like the Atkins diet?

      As they say, one person’s trash is the next’s treasure.
      And those folks have never been too picky about where they make their money so why would they start now?

      What’s so special about these trashy books?

      • You forgot the one that said Manhattan would be under water by now. And the one that said we would all be frozen solid by now from nuclear winter. And the one that said by now we would have run out of oil. And the one that said by now we would all have starved to death in a Malthusian nightmare. They were all written by the same author. Some guy named Consensus.

        • There’s always been good money peddling trash in books and other channels. And no shortage of willing accomplices other than retailers.
          All sorts of names come to mind.
          So does caveat emptor.

  2. Satanic cabal helmed by former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

    Well, anyone with any sense knows HRC hasn’t got the influence or brain power to helm anything, unless someone stacks the deck for her.

    Be that as it may, I think people should be able to publish what they want, so long as it’s not advocating things like rape, child abuse or murder. People want to believe Satan runs the world? I’ve seen worse stuff, all done by good old human beings.

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