Attack on the Capitol: A Consequence of Radicalisation Online

The recent attack on the US Capitol is no surprise in retrospect. Donald Trump has repeatedly called on his supporters to “stand by”. For days, social media had been mentioning 6 January 2021 as the date to carry out violence if Congress did not revise the results of the 2020 presidential election.

On platforms such as Parler, a Twitter alternative for many right-wing extremists, the messenger Telegram and the online forum ‘TheDonald’, people have been plotting to storm the Capitol for days. But it is not only these niche networks in which plans are being made publicly that were put into action yesterday. It took place on Twitter, TikTok and Facebook as well. On the latter platform in numerous groups with thousands of members who – incited by Donald Trump – doubt the election, spread disinformation and conspiracy narratives and even call for violence.

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