Far-right conspiracy theorist Ron Watkins was the administrator of 8chan, also known as 8kun—the visual message board boasting its complete lack of moderation.
On this site, white supremacists routinely posted vile memes, mass shooters shared their manifestos before committing atrocities, and an anonymous poster claiming to be a government insider with "Q" level clearance continued to foment a conspiracy theory that would drive hundreds of thousands of Americans to delusion.
The QAnon conspiracy web hinges on the deranged belief that former President Donald Trump was sent to expose a covert "Deep State" of satanic cannibal pedophiles secretly controlling the United States government. Once relegated to dark corners of the internet like 8chan, QAnon has made its way to the halls of Congress.
As the administrator of 8Chan, Watkins played a key role in amplifying QAnon. Some—like Cullen Hoback, who had unprecedented access to the Watkins for his HBO documentary on QAnon, Into the Storm—believe Ron Watkins himself was "Q."
Now, Watkins is ingratiating himself among far-right circles. He's partnered with MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell to lie that the 2020 election was stolen. He recently announced a run for an Arizona seat in the House of Representatives. And this past weekend, he addressed the crowd at "For God and Country Patriot Double Down," a conspiracy theorist convention.
In a bizarre speech, Watkins likened himself to Civil Rights Movement hero Rosa Parks, whose refusal to release her bus seat to a white man in segregated Alabama sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.