Jan 6 Committee Members Targeted by Violent Rhetoric on Rightwing Social Media Platforms
A new analysis found that calls for violence against members the January 6 Committee circulate on the same online platforms as the lies that fuelled the insurrection.
These users are calling for the executions of members of committees, with Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney being a target. Online, calls for Mike Pence to be executed continue to be made. These were voiced in Washington DC on January 6.
Law enforcement faces a difficult task in determining what is rhetorical and what might constitute an active threat.
John Cohen, a former Department of Homeland Security Counterterrorism Coordinator, is now an adjunct professor at Georgetown University. He told CNN that authorities can’t treat social media posts containing concerning language as hyperbole.
Cohen described monitoring social media as a “resource-intensive process that involves federal, state, and local authorities who work together, and who operate under strict protocols that ensure they can distinguish between constitutionally protected speech, and threat-related activities.”
He said, “We are in a highly volatile complex threat period.”