The rioters who took over the U.S. Capitol have been planning online in the open for weeks

By | January 6, 2021

BuzzFeed News reports:

The supporters of President Donald Trump who rioted in the US Capitol building on Wednesday had been openly planning for weeks on both mainstream social media and the pro-Trump internet. On forums like TheDonald, a niche website formed after Reddit banned the subreddit of the same name, they promised violence against lawmakers, police, and journalists if Congress did not reject the results of the 2020 election.

In one interaction four days ago, a person on TheDonald asked, “What if Congress ignores the evidence?”

“Storm the Capitol,” one replied, which received more than 500 upvotes.

“You’re fucking right we do,” another said.

On pro-Trump social media website Parler, chat app Telegram, and other corners of the the far-right internet, people discussed the Capitol Hill rally at which Trump spoke as the catalyst for a violent insurrection. They have been using those forums to plan an uprising in plain sight, one that they executed Wednesday afternoon, forcing Congress to flee its chambers as it met to certify the results of the election.

“Extremists have for weeks repeatedly expressed their intentions to attend the January 6 protests, and unabashedly voiced their desire for chaos and violence online,” said Jared Holt, a visiting research fellow with DFRLab. “What we’ve witnessed is the manifestation of that violent online rhetoric into real-life danger.” [Continue reading…]

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