Fact check: False rumor that QAnon supporters buying tickets for Trump inauguration
Claim: QAnon supporters are buying fabricated tickets for Donald Trump's second inauguration
Circulating on social media: a false claim about conspiracy theorists buying fabricated tickets for a fake presidential inauguration.
Social media users make fun of QAnon followers for allegedly buying fake tickets for "The 2nd Inauguration of Donald Trump". A photo of the tickets included in the entries said the event will be held outside the United States Capitol in August with "special musical guest stars" Ted Nugent and Kid Rock, both of whom are vocal Trump supporters.
"Stupid is plentiful with the Q crowd and the Trump fools," begins the post of a Facebook user. "This is just insane on a whole different level! These 'tickets' are being sold on Q sites across the Internet for up to $ 1,200 each. The crazy thing is people are talking about how excited they are because of they already bought it. "
"You are being betrayed. A fool and their money will soon part ways."
But there is no fraud. USA TODAY found no evidence of counterfeit tickets being sold or bought online.
Users in several anti-Trump and liberal Facebook groups - including the Blue Wave 2022, Resist Trump, and Trump Zero - are spreading the claim. The most popular, however, was a tweet from Pamela Apostolopoulos, which received more than 10,000 interactions.
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USA TODAY reached out to several users who posted the claim for a comment.
Claim related to QAnon belief
The claim is a result of QAnon's false belief that Trump, not Joe Biden, is president.
QAnon supporters say Trump is secretly fighting a satanic cabal of powerful people in government, media and Hollywood who are participating in an international child sex trade ring.
While there is no evidence that QAnon supporters are planning a second inauguration for Trump, the concept likely plays on a QAnon conspiracy theory that Biden did not legitimately win the election and that his inauguration was faked. USA TODAY has debunked these claims.
Fact Check: No basis for allegations that President Joe Biden's inauguration was faked
Some QAnon supporters falsely claimed that Trump would become the lawful president on March 4th, prompting Capitol Police to step up security that week.
Evidence tickets are not sold
The alleged photos of fake tickets for Trump's second inauguration have been digitally altered, an analysis by USA TODAY found.
In the picture, the text with the details and price of the event is in a different font than the rest of the ticket. The photo matches blank tickets on several stock photo sites such as 123RF.
A sign in support of QAnon at a rally in Olympia, Washington in May 2020.
As reported by Snopes, the picture was first published on June 13th as a joke on 4chan, a forum where fringe groups and conspiracy theorists gather. A USA TODAY search by 4chan found no other posts mentioning tickets for a second inauguration of Trump. No commentator on the original post expressed interest in buying or selling tickets.
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Reuters also found no trace of the tickets in QAnon groups on the Telegram messaging platform. A USA TODAY search also found no mention of the tickets.
Our rating: wrong
Based on our research, we rate the claim that QAnon supporters are buying tickets to a fake Trump launch event FALSE. No evidence was found in online QAnon groups of people buying or selling these tickets. The photo in the social media posts has been digitally manipulated.
Our fact check sources:
TinEye Reverse Image Search, June 15
123RF, accessed June 15, Stock Photo - Pair of blank concert tickets isolated on white background
Snopes, June 14th: Fake tickets for Trump's “2. Inauguration ”is circulating on social media
Reuters, June 14th Fact check - no evidence QAnon supporters buy fabricated tickets for the "second inauguration"
4chan, June 14th Anonymous post (archived)
4plebs, June 14th Anonymous contribution
@ PamelaApostolo1 June 13th, tweet
US TODAY, Jan 13th Banned from Facebook and Twitter, pro-Trump extremists incubate inauguration day violence in dark areas of the internet
USA TODAY, Jan 28, fact check: No basis for allegations that President Joe Biden's inauguration was faked
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Our fact-checking work is partly supported by a grant from Facebook.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact Check: No QAnon-Linked Fake Tickets for Trump's Second Inauguration
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