Fringe Groups Splinter Online after Facebook and Twitter bans

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Just hours after the rioters were evacuated from the Capitol on Wednesday, there was already a discussion of what would happen next on Speak and Gab, another social media platform that has become popular with the far right.

Mr. Trump was expected to take his megaphone to the platforms, and tens of thousands of people have joined these sites waiting for him to land there. But on Monday night, Parler was mostly offline. Gab had also become largely unusable, as a flood of new users and downloads seemed to overwhelm the site, making it impossible to find or post new material.

Some groups have moved to smaller sites, like MeWe and CloutHub, as well as fringe message boards.

“There is a mass exodus going on, and we are really seeing people scattering around different sites as they look for a home,” Argentino said. “Different groups have settled in different places.”

On Telegram, where members of the Proud Boys and other militia groups host popular channels, calls were made for people to organize marches on the state capitol buildings on Saturday, January 16. On a Telegram channel, which has more than 20,000 subscribers, the addresses of these buildings have been published, along with the addresses of tech companies, including Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Google.

Members of the Boogaloo movement, another far-right group, also held rallies on Telegram and Signal on Sunday (January 17). On 4chan and other messaging groups, flyers were posted calling for another march in Washington, DC on January 20. In comments under those posts, people expressed support for targeting various news organizations like the New York Times and CNN.

Andrew Torba, Managing Director of Gab, said: “As we communicated to our law enforcement partners, we have adopted an enhanced security posture prior to the inauguration and are ready to respond quickly to any request from the law enforcement agencies. law enforcement. of us during the period.

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