Social media played a prevalent role leading to the subsequent arrests of the Capitol rioters who planned violence and terror on Jan. 6 during the Electoral College count in Congress.
To date the FBI has charged at least 150 people with federal crimes pertaining to the events of Jan. 6, according to a report by the Associated Press. Authorities believe that at least 800 people made their way inside the Capitol.
For law enforcement some of the arrests were made easier by the brazen rioters who posted their whereabouts and intentions on social media, casting hours of footage of themselves storming the Capitol. Lawmakers, school administrators, police officers and the like posted selfies on Facebook, and videos on Instagram and Twitter flaunting their participation.
Tor their transgressions many raked up charges pertaining to unlawful entry and disorderly conduct.
Hours after the globe watched in horror and mystification over the legions of white supremacists who descended onto Washington D.C., perpetrating as “patriots,” the FBI urged the general public for their help in capturing participants to bring them before a court of law.
Some of the rioters were turned in by family members or even ex-lovers, who recognized their loved one and quietly forwarded the information to police. Yet to date, a plethora of the rioters have been released from jail again framing the conversation around the treatment of Black demonstrators and police response. Throughout the past year, law enforcement continued to use excessive force during the multitudes of Black Lives Matter marches across the country, advocating for justice.
However when the announcement was made weeks prior that white supremacist groups and Trump supporters intended to demonstrate during planned “Stop The Count” rallies, the response from law enforcement waned in comparison.
The FBI warns that more arrests will come even in the midst of what seems to be like an escape for those who have yet to face consequences.
“Just because you’ve left the D.C. region, you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out that you were part of criminal activity inside the Capitol,” said Steven D’Antuono, assistant director of the FBI’s Washington’s office. “Bottom line — the FBI is not sparing any resources in this investigation.”
As social media looks to add more accountability in the ways fake news is spread and disseminated, technology companies should add more checks and balances regarding the sharing of white supremacist propaganda, largely found within the posts of the Capitol rioters.
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