Hobbies are a spectacular thing. They can prevent boredom, help you learn something new, pick up an instrument, or, in the event you’re a QAnon follower with too much time on your hands, they can even prevent you from looking like a dumba** who can’t read a map.
Unfortunately, a handful of QAnon members don’t have hobbies — or, arguably, enough brain cells — so they’ve sunk hours into a new conspiracy theory that posits our nation’s capital has “dissolved” because GPS services like Google Maps and Apple Maps have started leaving out the “D.C.” when offering directions for would-be insurrectionists.
Currently, the group is awaiting the return of their leader, Donald Trump. Before 1933, presidents were sworn in on March 4th, and many QAnon followers believe this is the day Trump will make his big comeback. But, in case that doesn’t happen, the group has another bizarre rabbit hole to dive into with this map business. A search of Washington D.C. only brings up the city’s name, not the district. Some QAnon members think there’s a hidden meaning in this omission. They claim that the missing initials are proof the capital has been “dissolved.”
According to Newsweek, a user on the encrypted messaging app Telegram posted a question asking whether the capital had always been referred to as just “Washington” on map services or whether a change had been made.
Another user replied: “I just searched Washington DC on my iPhone Apple Maps & it just shows Washington, no DC. This is the same for Google maps & mapquest. DC is dissolved.”
The theory even made the rounds on Twitter:
Google on left. Duck duck go on right. Try it yourself. Maps show Washington DC as Washington now. Just a weird coincidence. pic.twitter.com/VFQp4IxTel
— Secret Squirel (@cbcool2532) March 3, 2021
The only problem? Residents in Alexandria and other D.C. neighborhoods quickly snuffed out theories that D.C. wasn’t a district anymore and that the nation’s capital had somehow been secretly dismantled. “I’ve lived in Alexandria [Virginia] for 4 years and it has always shown Washington on mapquest, Waze, Google maps, etc.. since it’s Washington, D.C. it just shows the immediate locality.. not the state,” another Telegram user wrote. Others posted photos of maps from as far back as the ’80s to prove this omission was actually commonplace.
“It always said Washington in the middle of the map and then Washington dc at the bottom,” one user confirmed. “This is normal because the name would cover too much of the map.”
At this point, QAnon might want to hit up that Zorp cult from Parks and Rec for pointers on how to pivot when your apocalyptic conspiracy theories don’t pan out. They couldn’t do any worse.