Q has always been fake.
Failures and False Predictions
10/28/17 - Q claims that Hillary has been detained (edited to more accurately reflect the failed prediction- thanks Qultists). If this is so then there must not be much evidence against her, given that she's still out and about today! Unless you believe that she went through some shadow trial and is somehow being controlled, but countries where freedom and limited government overreach are valued aren't supposed to do things like that!
10/28/17 - Q claims that Hillary's passport will be flagged on 10/30/17 and to expect massive riots as she's extradited.
01/21/18 - A flood was alleged to be coming. A flood consisting of various forms of media that I imagine were supposed to implicate somebody in something nefarious. Sadly, this flood never came.
01/21/18 - Q makes some very certain claims about the Nunes Memo, which of course do not come remotely true when the memo is released a couple weeks later.
01/22/18 - Q posts a confirmed fake Podesta email, then promptly deletes it. But not before his followers have time to notice.
03/06/18 - The stage is set to release a video of Hillary Clinton doing spooky and evil things that would be impossible to defend and '[liberal undo]'.
03/15/18 - Q declares 'March Madness' and that 'the public will soon know'. Nothing came to pass.
05/16/18 - Q passes off a shitty photoshop as proof that he has some sort of official document, implied to be an executive order.
05/19/18 - Q leaks his own password. "On purpose", of course.
06/17/18 - Q engages with somebody who posted a verifiably misleading youtube video as if it were real (to the point where his followers were protesting).
06/17/18 - Q posts this horrible photoshop job as if it were real.
06/18/18 - Q responds to a horrible photoshop job as if it were real.
06/26/18 - July - the month the world knows the TRUTH. Conspiracy no more. (Nothing came to pass.)
06/27/18 - Q posts a link to yournewswire, a website known for straight-up fabricating information. Additionally, it has a twitter tag appended, suggesting that he found it randomly on twitter. Not great infosec for somebody dropping top-secret knowledge.
07/03/18 - Q posts a link to Breitbart with the twitter tag again.
07/03/18 - Q posts a photo suggesting that he is on Airforce One. It is quickly debunked as an Obama-era photo that somebody took a picture of with an iphone. Spends quite a while doing damage controlled, including the old 'I trolled u' defense.
07/31/18 - For his 1776th post, Q uploads an image that's supposed to function as 'proof' that he's working with Trump (Trump's signature + "#1776"). However, not only are the '#' and '1' very different from Trump's own handwriting, but even Q's followers found evidence that it's another photoshop job.
08/10/18 - Q's password is revealed yet again by a former believer attempting to reach out to those who are currently sucked in and debunks the belief that Q's passwords contain clues. Q finally upgrades to a secure trip.
08/12/18 - Q makes an angry post suggesting that Omarosa admitted to broadcasting a 'CRIMINAL VIOLATION' by leaking recordings from the White House in violation of an NDA. Not only are NDA violations civil matters rather than criminal, but NDAs don't apply to public servants. It is also interesting that Q would get upset over leaks of confidential information when the entire premise of 'The Storm' is that a top government official with a seemingly endless supply of knowledge about international happenings is leaking information about vital government operations to strangers on an insecure message board known for harboring political extremists and at times illegal content.
Q built up the release of the IG report for months. The night before the report was released, after its actual contents had been reported on for weeks, he panicked and pulled some pretty ridiculous damage control.
Occasionally Q types 'codes'. These 'codes' are easily demonstrated to be gibberish by experts in infosec and cryptography, aside from one that appears to be some kind of (Microsoft?) product license.
Q uses a number of tactics to keep people from catching onto the fact that he's spinning lies, or to keep them believing that he's making correct predictions. Some of these tactics are standard fare among false prophets, while others are new to the digital age. Here are some examples:
Most of the predictions and messages he posts are vague to the point where a large number of happenings can be applied to them. For example, 'watch the water' - if anything happens near water, or involving water, Q's followers can use it as confirmation that his prediction came true.
Q uses words that have been made by Trump in the past and/or are commonly used by Trump to give people the impression that he has some sort of relationship with Trump when Trump uses them again.
Why do most of Q's posts involve things that are currently hot topics in the news? If he's a super secret agent who is apparently privy to everything happening behind the scenes, then why would he almost exclusively discuss current events that are publicly known, e.g. the IG report and North Korea? Is everything the Deep State is involved in something that is publicly documented to some degree, aside from off-handed things like the Hillary Clinton tape that never materialized?
Similar to the point above, because Q's posts involve things that are either currently in the news or frequently in the news, there is a high probability that something will happen involving those things in the very near future. For example, there is a scandal within the Catholic Church every other month; if somebody predicts that there will be a scandal in the Catholic Church within the next month or two, there is an extremely high probability that this prediction will come true. Another example of this is [NK]; with Trump and Kim meeting together, there was an extremely high probability that something noteworthy would happen. That said, Q has missed his mark with this tactic, as those making educated guesses often do. For example, heavily suggesting that there would be some sort of big happening between the USA and Iran very soon after the cancellation of the Iran deal.
In the case of the failed Iran deal predictions, Q uses another distraction- posting about Iran again and again to give followers the impression that things are still going to happen and make them forget when the deadline has passed. If/when something big does happen in Iran, his followers will believe that he accurately predicted it despite the fact that he's been hinting for months that something would happen very soon.
Why does Q photoshop some images that he implies are real? Why does he run many images through filters and/or crop them, two of the easiest ways to make an image impossible to reverse image search? If all of them are real and taken by Q, then why are some images clearly amateur while others seem to be taken by professional photographers? The answer is that, while Q does take some photos (e.g. the ones with the pen), he draws photos from different sources (or takes pictures of them, in the case of welcomeaboard.jpg) and edits them so that they can't be reverse-searched.
Q uses thought-terminating cliches like 'trust the plan' and 'disinformation is necessary' to keep the people he's hooked from thinking clearly about what's going on. His followers rationalize failed prediction after failed prediction as 'there are things going on behind the scenes' or 'Q said disinfo needs to happen to throw off the Deep State (why would the Deep State use 8chan of all places for information??)', which protects Q's legitimacy from being questioned.