One of the largest websites peddling conspiracies related to the rising QAnon movement was shut down after a fact-checking group discovered a New Jersey man behind the site.
The now-removed website titled Qmap.pub garnered over 10 million visitors in July, according to analytics firm SimilarWeb, Bloomberg News reported.
The website operated as an archive and aggregator for Q’s posts, the anonymous figure who is widely speculated to be behind the QAnon theory. The creator of the website is known by the screen name “QAppAnon.”
On Thursday, fact-checking site Logically.ai published a report alleging it discovered Jason Gelinas of Berkeley Heights as the “sole developer and mouthpiece” of Qmap.pub.
The QAnon theory has grown vastly popular this year, stretching to other countries across the world as global unrest and distrust of authority has circulated among communities. Researchers say they have discovered prominent QAnon communities in 70 countries.
The theory is broad and encompasses a multitude of different facets of worldly political affairs, but primarily purports that President Trump is fighting against a secret, “deep state” group of pedophiles — including celebrities and Democratic politicians — who worship Satan and run an international child sex-trafficking ring.
Bloomberg found, according to New Jersey state records, QAppAnon translates back to Gelinas’s home address.
The report also found Gelinas’s LinkedIn profile which says he works as an information security analyst at Citigroup.
The Hill reached out to Citigroup but did not immediately hear back.
When reached outside his home, Gelinas declined to comment about the Logically report, adding, “I’m not going to comment on any of that. I’m not going to get involved. I want to stay out of it.”
Gelinas was reportedly wearing an American flag baseball cap and offered a comment about the QAnon following, calling it a “patriotic movement to save the country.”
The QAnon movement has been a contentious issue among top officials in Washington, with figures such as Vice President Pence dismissing the theory “out of hand” to Georgia Republican congressional candidate Marjorie Taylor Greene backing the eccentric theory.
Bloomberg reported that QAppAnon, the online name of qmap’s creator, runs a Patreon account that receives over $3,000 a month in donations, according to the site.
QAppAnon said in March via a post on Patreon it was releasing a new Android app titled “Armor of God,” a social network for followers of QAnon.
The app developer’s email address was listed on the Google Play page as “[email protected]otplatforms.com,” and according to New Jersey state business records, the Patriot Platforms LLC address matches Gelinas’s home address.
Following Bloomberg’s investigation, the Armor of God app was no longer visible on the Google Play store.
The Hill reached out to Patriot Platform’s support contact but did not immediately receive a reply.
Originally published: 2020-09-12 13:39:03