How could Jim Watkins and his son Ron Watkins be unduly influencing QAnon?

Fredrick Brennan
6 min readOct 10, 2020

Transcription by @Lorenzo_del_T

This is a completely off-the-cuff recording about something I think is important.

I wanted to go over all of the ways that … or most of the ways — many of the ways; there are so many ways — that Jim Watkins could influence Q through technical means, and ways that he could take over Q through technical means, by his ownership of the 8chan server, and network infrastructure and all that.

So there are myriad ways that he could take over Q or influence Q unduly, and the reason is that there is no way to identify Q outside of Jim and Ronald Watkins. The identification of Q is entirely done through a chain of custody, because there is no third-party program that you can plug a Q drop into, and receive a verification that this Q drop was actually posted with this tripcode, unlike what would be possible with cryptographic signatures, for example. So when we look at it, we can see immediately that there is a lot that they can do.

Obviously, they can just make it so that a different password results in a different tripcode. That’s very easy to do, it’s been a part of the 8chan source code since I was running the place, and even before that, it was a part of the source code that was inherited, not even from vichan, from tinyboard, so it is an old long-standing feature that you can make any tripcode, or any tripcode password, equal to any tripcode by editing one file on the server: no new code needs to be written.

But putting that aside, there’s a lot more that they can do. Let’s start with the most basic influence. Because, when Ron Watkins decided to change the tripcode “salt” (as it’s called), perhaps there was some security problem that did not become public, perhaps he took the opportunity to take over Q — who knows — but I think he did it much earlier.

But, in any event, when Ron Watkins changed the tripcode salt, QAnon — allegedly, with no private contact between them, created a board, I believe called project “D Comms”. Comms, bye the way, is a scientology word, I don’t know if you guys know that, but I am not saying that it’s is being used in a scientology sense here, a lot of different cults and strange organizations including the CIA, I suppose, use “comm” as short for communication.

The simplest thing that they could do then is to get into private contact with Q — which is something that almost nobody else can do. Because 8chan source code and vichan and tinyboard have a private messaging system between so-called users , and users in this case means anybody that actually has a login to manage a board or to volunteer on a board or … the admin has an account, the global volunteers, they all have accounts. So this account system has a private messaging system attached. And it would allow Ronald to message any board owner. So he could get into private contact with Q through that board. Or through the previous board. So, that’s the most basic undue influence.

And remember, 8chan is not a large site. And especially the new 8kun, it exists only for Q, essentially. There is no other large driver of traffic. They’ve chased everybody else away (other than the neo-Nazi’s on their PND board, so you have Q and you have neo-Nazis and the video-game people got chased away — there are a lot less than before. So that is what the site is for. So it means that unlike twitter or another large platform it is not out of the question to believe that they would be thinking about protecting one of their largest traffic drivers meanwhile twitter has hundreds and hundreds of ways that they drive traffic. Not just, “oh, we allow neo-Nazis, and we are the original place where Q posts before people rip it off and put it on QMap and twitter. “

So … Jim hates that, by the way. When they were doing that in Japan, … in Japan they call that matome, which means collecting or bringing things together, so we can think of Qmap actually as kind of a Q matome, in that it’s a site where people go to instead of 8chan, to read what’s posted on 8chan… matome is a 2-channel version of that, except 2channel matome is about many things, not just Q.

Another thing that they could do, and they could do this at any time, because they own the server, without any public statement or any public evidence that any of it has happened, another simple thing that they could do, is they could decide to firewall Q’s posts. So whenever Q — let’s say, this is very unlikely, that they don’t know who Q is — and they are not Q themselves, well, they can still unduly influence Q by firewalling his posts. What I mean by that is, whenever Q posts, they could put his posts into a queue, so when Q puts his tripcode and writes a post and presses post, it could go into a queue of all of Q’s posts, and then Ronald could look at that queue — or presumably employees of his, and he could decide which of Q’s posts to allow through. And, for example, he might want to do this if he doesn’t know who Q is, to keep Q on 8chan exclusively. And if he sees evidence that Q is linking to Gab, or to, I suppose, in this instance Parler, he could just not allow those through. If he sees that Q is giving out an encryption key, don’t allow that through. Keep Q on 8chan. It seems like that would be very simple for him to do. And of course, if Q wants to complain about this censorship, he can’t, because that will go into the same queue.

And there is no way for him to prove that he’s Q, without posting under the Q tripcode, which is firewalled; anything that he wants to post to prove that he is Q, well, first he has to prove that he owns the tripcode, the only way to prove that you own a tripcode — or a secure tripcode, I should say — is through 8chan’s server, because a secure tripcode attaches a server secret known only to Ronald and Jim, known as a “salt”, before the actual tripcode generation.

So they have enormous power and influence over Q. So those are the two obvious things that they could do. But there’s other ways that they could influence Q, even if they don’t put his posts into a queue. And they don’t take over Q entirely.

Another thing that they could just very simply do, is they could just decide that they want to write some Q posts put not all.

So lets say that they set up a queue, or even if they don’t — they probably would want to, if they were going to do this, because Q could complain, “hey, that wasn’t my drop”. They could just write some Q posts but not others.

When you use the feature in the software to set a password to a certain tripcode, that doesn’t mean that the old password will stop working. It just means that now there are two passwords for the same tripcode. You can make it so that the old one doesn’t work anymore, very simply, you could in the software say that “if this tripcode is the result but the password is not what I said”, then reject the post or put it into a queue or whatever.

Of course, they could just easily sniff the password out of whatever Q types in, because they own the server. So they don’t even necessarily need to use the feature to set the password.

So those are the three main ways that they could easily influence Q unduly.

First, they could have just totally taken it over, which I believe has happened, second, they could be putting all of Q’s posts into a queue, and third, they could be posting some Q posts but not others. Do with this information what you will, but it seems extremely likely to me that one these things is happening.