The storming of the U.S. Capitol and subsequent rioting we saw this week may only be the beginning of something much worse, and online chatter is increasing that suggests more violence is already being planned, according to a disturbing new report from the Washington Post, which notes that one of the main reasons Twitter shut down President Donald Trump’s account was to help prevent the spread of planning for such attacks:
“Twitter’s extraordinary action against President Trump on Friday night was driven both by the violent rampage of his supporters in Washington and what the company said was a looming ‘secondary attack’ on the U.S. Capitol and state government facilities next weekend — a finding that tracks with the open threats of violence independent researchers have also found across the Web.”
The calls to action being seen online include plans for a “Million Militia March” on Jan. 20, the day President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris are inaugurated. A protest has also been mentioned for Jan. 17:
“’Plans for future armed protests have already begun proliferating on and off-Twitter, including a proposed secondary attack on the US Capitol and state capitol buildings on January 17, 2021,’ Twitter’s announcement said, noting two recent Trump tweets it said were ‘likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021.”
However, if pro-Trump activists think they’ll see the same lax security that allowed them to force their way into the Capitol, they’re likely to be unpleasantly surprised, especially with the security already being increased for the Biden-Harris inauguration.
Even more troubling is that much of the chatter is taking place on multiple social media platforms, making it difficult to keep up with all of the possible nefarious plans being made by the plotters:
“A detailed new analysis of such posts by Alethea Group, an organization combating disinformation that draws its name from the Greek word for ‘truth,’ found abundant evidence of threatening plans on a range of platforms large and small. The aggressive and often hateful chatter has appeared on both mainstream sites such as Twitter and Facebook and niche, conservative sites such as TheDonald.win and Parler.
“’REFUSE TO BE SILENCED,’ said one online post cited by Alethea Group, calling for an ‘ARMED MARCH ON CAPITOL HILL & ALL STATE CAPITOLS’ for Jan. 17, the last Sunday of Trump’s polarizing presidency. Another post calling for action at ‘DC & All State Capitols’ and signed by ‘common folk who are tired of being tread upon’ declares: ‘We were warned!'”
Cindy Otis, vice president of analysis at Alethea, warns that threats are increasing with each passing day:
“So much of the conversation right now is the general making of threats. There’s a risk of these particular dates leading to violence because that’s the kind of amped-up conversation we’re already seeing from people.”
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