As the Biden Digital Coalition (BDC), we worked with leadership within the Biden campaign. We had data scientists, policy experts, and social media influencers. Our work led us to insight on the events of January 6th.
#BDC #January6th #InsurrectionHasConsequences
Thread (1/12)
In campaign work you have a group referred to as Rapid Response. To simplify, these are comms folks who specialize in identifying and pushing back on damaging narratives and false information. They were our internet ninjas. (2/12)
Working with the data and policy teams, they didn't just track things on Twitter. They followed the deepest and darkest parts of the internet where you would see conspiracy theories begin to fester before they would bubble up into the discourse. (3/12)
Between June and September, most of our work was pretty standard campaign work (as standard as it could be during covid). Starting in September, the channels we were tracking began to get more violent. (4/12)
It's worth noting that we were tracking any source of political violence regardless of whether it was right, left, center, or upside down. Initially, we would just report threatening posts to social media platforms and alert the campaign. (5/12)
After the election, we began to see stuff going truly off the rails. (6/12)
The leader of our rapid response team has a background in homeland security and had studied domestic terrorism. Likewise, the head of our data team, as well as several other key volunteers had familiarity with the groups we were tracking. (7/12)
These included groups like the Proud Boys, 3 percenters, and Oath Keepers. While we continued to provide traditional campaign support during the Georgia senate elections, we had effectively turned into a small counter-terrorism group. (8/12)
By December, we had seen so much crazy stuff coming from individuals and groups on the far right that we started regularly sending our findings to the FBI. (9/12)
On January 5th, we sent out warnings to our friends and family members to stay away from downtown DC. (10/12).
Since that awful day, we have spoken to contacts in congress, a few journalists, and as mentioned sent everything we gathered to law enforcement. (11/12)
Let's be very clear: that was a crowd of Trump supporters that included members of the militia movement and white supremacist groups. Anyone telling you otherwise is at best ill-informed and at worst a bad-faith actor. (12/12)
Going to add a shoutout here to @amywestervelt and @RealHotTake for being the first to speak with us about our work tracking disinformation.
@amywestervelt @RealHotTake And the co-creator of @RealHotTake @MaryHeglar for being awesome

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