Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg had stated shortly after the mob attack on the Hill that the protests were largely organized on smaller, fringe social media sites. She was subsequently criticized as evidence mounted that numerous Facebook groups and accounts, public and private, were used to help organize the protest. Some contained violent threats. And whilst Parler was used by many of those who attended, the DOJ has filed numerous charges against individuals who were both planning their visit to Washington, D.C., and posting about their attendance on Facebook.
As per an analysis by the Program on Extremism at the George Washington University earlier this week, social media was referenced in 78% of 92 criminal complaints filed in the Justice Department’s investigations into the riots. Of those, 38% included social media posts from an individual who was subsequently charged.