Social media has played a crucial role in the support of Mr. Trump since he announced his intention to run for president five years ago. And the rioters who attacked the Capitol last week did much of their planning in the open on sites like Facebook, Twitter and Parler, a lesser-known platform that had become popular in right-wing circles in recent months.
But after many groups were banned from mainstream social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, the groups have been relegated to half a dozen apps and platforms to organize their next steps. Parler was also effectively taken off line on Monday when Amazon — following Google and Apple’s moves to drop Parler from their app stores — said it would no longer host the service in its data centers.
Adding to the muddle, when Twitter and Facebook kicked Mr. Trump off their platforms last week, they made it harder for organizers to rally around a singular voice. The result is an unexpected side effect of the expulsions from mainstream social media platforms: Attempts at disruption could be harder to predict and could stretch for days — and not just in Washington, D.C.
On Monday, an internal Federal Bureau of Investigation bulletin said that armed protests were being planned for all 50 state capitols beginning on Jan. 16, according to ABC News. Researchers watching the planning around those protests said there had already been detailed discussions of potential violence.