A major QAnon influencer was unmasked earlier this week as a failed screenwriter living in New Jersey.
An investigation conducted by Logically, a fact-checking technology company, discovered that “Neon Revolt,” a major online personality in the world of the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon, is really an aspiring writer named Robert Cornero Jr.
Cornero’s uncovering as a major formerly-anonymous QAnon personality has also shined a light on another aspect: as a major QAnon influencer, Cornero created new conspiracy theories revolving around people he had grudges against in the film industry, effectively weaponizing his followers to satisfy his own personal vendettas.
Logically reached out to Cornero for comment, but received none. Mashable has attempted to reach Cornero through his father, and will update this post if we hear back.
According to the Logically report, Cornero moved to California in pursuit of his Hollywood dreams in the late 2000s. Despite not finding success, Cornero attempted to launch a screenwriting coaching service on his now-defunct website “Hacking Hollywood.”
Years later, disillusioned with the film business, Cornero moved back to his family home in New Jersey.
“BURN IT! BURN THE WHOLE DEGENERATE TOWN DOWN!” reads a tweet from Cornero’s since-deleted personal Twitter account, referring to Los Angeles. “GLASS [sic] THE ENTIRE WEST COAST IF YOU HAVE TO.”
Cornero also started sharing right-wing conspiracy theories about QAnon around the time of this tweet in early 2018, too. Eventually, Cornero joined Gab under the name “Neon Revolt,” where he became perhaps one of the largest figures in the broader QAnon community without having a known presence on a mainstream social media platform. Cornero has hundreds of thousands of followers on the far-right social network.
QAnon is a right-wing conspiracy whose followers believe that President Trump is fighting a global satanic pedophile ring of baby-eating Hollywood elites and Democratic politicians. (None of these things are true.) Its believers are led by a person or persons behind an anonymous account, which posts on the far right-wing imageboard 8kun.
While Neon Revolt spread unfounded conspiracies about major politicians and Hollywood liberals who were already part of QAnon lore, he also focused on fairly unknown figures within the film industry.
One such example is Franklin Leonard, a film executive best known for founding The Black List, an online platform that helps aspiring screenwriters and their unproduced scripts get noticed within the industry.
Between October 2018 and March 2019, Cornero wrote three lengthy pieces on his Neon Revolt website about Leonard, attempting to engrain Leonard within the conspiracy theory canon, embedding him with its believers’ enemies.
Leonard says he was inundated with online threats related to QAnon in October 2018, after Cornero’s first piece was published. The subsequent pieces were posted in November 2018 and March 2019. Leonard was aware of the posts at the time, but only discovered who was behind them after Logically’s report.
No other QAnon personality had written about or focused on Leonard prior to this or after. Outside of the film business, Leonard is fairly unknown.
Mashable reached out to Leonard to find out if Cornero’s grudge stemmed from personal experiences with the film executive or The Black List.
The Black List founder pointed out that since Neon Revolt’s unmasking as Cornero, Leonard was able to find at least one Twitter interaction he had with the man back in 2016:
Leonard went on to say that it was “utterly surreal (and hilarious)” to have been a serious target of QAnon.
People have carried out violence in the name of QAnon before. QAnon supporters had a large presence during the storming of the Capitol on January 6. Many of the QAnon conspiracies helped light the fire that led to the day’s events.
In fact, on his Neon Revolt blog on the day of the January 6 riots, Cornero called for the arrest of Vice President Mike Pence for treason after Pence announced he would not overturn the results of the 2020 election. (This is not, in fact, treason.)
Most QAnon believers don’t seek out the posts, known as drops, from Q on 8kun. They digest these drops via personalities who’ve made a name for themselves in QAnon communities.
Cornero, known as Neon Revolt, became the largest QAnon influencer on Gab, a far right-wing social media site. The social network, mostly known for providing a platform for white supremacists and neo-Nazis, has grown exponentially in the months following the 2020 presidential election.
Neon Revolt currently runs the largest QAnon group on Gab, consisting of more than 165,000 members.