Gab replaced Twitter, MeWe surpassed Facebook, Telegram provided messaging functionality, Insord provided it to insiders, all of which had been banned by mainstream platforms, and American conspiracies and supreme movements were taken over by Donald Trump (Donald Trump) Instead, these networks have moved to more confidential and difficult to monitor networks.
Nick Backovic, a researcher at Logical.AI, a company that specializes in digital disinformation, said: “Trump’s most extreme supporters are already on other platforms.”
“In fact, it took Facebook and Twitter a long time (to ban them) to enable influencers to rebuild conversations and groups almost seamlessly.”
After the deadly attack in Washington on January 6, hundreds of Trump supporters stormed into the U.S. Capitol, and major social networks took action against the organizations involved, such as the oath-sworn, three town centers, and pride Boy.
Facebook has stepped up its efforts to clear accounts related to armed movements-close to 900 accounts in total. Twitter has permanently banned Trump and closed 70,000 accounts related to QAnon, a conspiracy theory claiming that the former president is fighting against the world’s pedophile elite who worships Satan.
“De-platformation is effective,” said Jim Steyer, president of Common Sense Media. “Now, when you see that Trump is not on Twitter, he has lost his big speaker, and his amplified microphone spreads to the world.”
But according to experts, millions of enthusiastic extremists and conspiracy theorists refuse to back down, worrying that the censorship system will unite people who are already completely different.
“Research on the composition of QAnon, people who will traditionally join the militia. In addition, there are some traditional Republicans, healthy and healthy yoga coaches and football moms,” said Alex Goldenberg, an analyst at Research Center Network. Infectious Disease Research Institute (NCRI).
“There is a considerable difference between these conspiracy communities and traditional Nazi communities or white supremacist communities. But it seems that under censorship, they are beginning to merge into the same community, because this is actually the only remaining Place for them to go.” he said.
Disappointed followers are uniting under other banners, especially the anti-vaccine movement. On the encrypted messaging platform Telegram, thousands of Trump supporters shared false rumors about the “depopulation vaccine” among insults to President Joe Biden or immigrants.
In the eyes of authority figures, these intense exchanges in unknown corners of the Internet may resemble the conversation and hustle and bustle around a bar or family table.
But despite being excluded from the main platform, which limits the mass recruitment capabilities of extremist movements, the ashes are smoldering under the ashes.
For example, at the end of January, a group of protesters interrupted the COVID-19 vaccination at the Los Angeles Stadium (one of the largest dedicated venues in the United States).
However, the need for regulatory alternative platforms is difficult to overcome moral and practical constraints. The limits of freedom of speech have aroused heated debate in the United States.
Parler, a conservative alternative to Twitter, found himself offline for several weeks and was turned away by Google, Apple and Amazon.
But the platform was back online in mid-February.
Gab and MeWe, which are similar to Facebook, quickly gained popularity after the January 6 attack. According to Goldenberg, the platform is primarily for people who need to express frustration.
Gab user ILoveJesusChrist123 insisted, “There is no pandemic in 2020. The flu is used by weapons to destroy the economy and steal the election (from Trump),” the former president said in a statement to the platform.
With private groups protected by encryption, Telegram is more conducive to action. On the other hand, gun lovers interact on the forum MyMilitia.com.
However, the founders of Gab did not hide their connections with QAnon, MeWe and Telegram. They said that they could not have any connections with conspiracy theorists.
Both networks have worked hard to slow down the release speed, but they lack the necessary resources.
Emerson Brooking, an extremism and disinformation expert at the Atlantic Council think tank, said: “We have to take into account current movements like pollution. The power and influence of these organizations has increased because they can be used on Facebook and Twitter. Freely carry out activities.”
He suggested that competitive social networks find ways to share hosting teams and digital resources.
NCRI’s John Farmer said that the government should also intervene: “The government has a responsibility…to treat these platforms in these ways. For example, basic things such as water, electricity, and broadcast media were previously regarded as public trust and therefore Reasonable rules must be followed.”
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