Winfrey’s name began trending on Twitter Tuesday night, thanks to a conspiracy theory that began with a viral QAnon Facebook post that started circulating over the weekend, The Washington Post reports. The post claimed that the coronavirus was a “covert U.S. intelligence operation” to cover for the arrests of celebrities and politicians — such as Tom Hanks, Justin Trudeau, and Oprah — involved in a massive sex-trafficking and pedophilia ring.
Late Tuesday night, Oprah shared a message debunking the obviously fake news, tweeting: “Just got a phone call that my name is trending. And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing. It’s NOT TRUE. Haven’t been raided, or arrested. Just sanitizing and self distancing with the rest of the world. Stay safe everybody.”
Just got a phone call that my name is trending. And being trolled for some awful FAKE thing. It’s NOT TRUE. Haven’t been raided, or arrested. Just sanitizing and self distancing with the rest of the world. Stay safe everybody.🙏🏾
— Oprah Winfrey (@Oprah) March 18, 2020
After the aforementioned Facebook post, more “evidence” about Oprah’s arrest followed. There was a photo of a Mediterranean villa blocked off by caution tape that claimed to be Oprah’s house in Florida (one place where she actually doesn’t own a home), as well as video of armed police officers kicking in the door of a house which was touted as footage from the “raid.” All of this culminated Tuesday with not only Oprah’s name trending, but also the hashtags #opraharrested and #OPRAHDIDWHAT.
QAnon devotees — many of whom are avid supporters of President Donald Trump — have spent the past several years touting conspiracy theories about deep-state efforts to bring down the president based on “clues” proffered by an anonymous government agent known as “Q.” As the group’s origins can be partly traced back to the debunked Pizzagate conspiracy, many QAnon followers remain convinced that elites in politics and entertainment are operating a global pedophile ring.