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'Lawless intimidation': Politicians, media shelter in place at U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. – Global News

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Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump gathered en masse and stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday, breaching police barricades and forcing the building into a lockdown.

The protests came as a joint session of Congress commenced to confirm Joe Biden‘s 2020 presidential election victory.

Read more:
U.S. Capitol secured after violent protest in support of Trump leaves 1 woman dead

Supporters of the Republican president entered the building, breaching the Senate and the private offices of elected officials.

Here’s a look at what happened inside the building.

Shelter in place

As protesters stormed the entrances, the building went into lockdown, forcing politicians, their staffers and members of the media to shelter in place.

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Others were evacuated from their offices and from the chambers to undisclosed locations as police worked to secure the building.

Philly Inquirer reporter Jonathan Tamari, who was inside the House Chamber, said protesters were smashing the doors of the room in an attempt to get inside.

“My hands are starting to shake,” Politico reporter Olivia Beavers wrote from inside the chamber.

“I can’t fully relay right (now) how fear is coursing through the house right now as the sound of gas masks are being unwrapped.”

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Photos from inside the room show people sheltering in place, hiding underneath the seats and in the aisles of the gallery.

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Furniture was pushed against the door to try to secure the chamber as members of the mob banged on the doors.


(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Photos of the scene show security with guns drawn, pointing at the door to the chamber after a glass panel was smashed.

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Read more:
Twitter removes 3 Trump tweets, locks account after Capitol building stormed

Maryland Rep. David Trone shared photos of himself donning a provided gas mask on Twitter, confirming he was safe.

“We have been evacuated,” he said. “Let me be clear: we will not be stopped by this lawless intimidation.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng shared photos on Twitter of her hiding spot.

“After 5 hours I’ve been rescued from my hiding place,” she wrote. “Now I can show you my DIY barricade and gas masks.”

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Meng said she could hear protesters outside the door chanting “USA.”

“It was scary but I am ok!” she said.

Meanwhile in the Senate, protesters were able to get into the gallery and on the chamber’s floor.

(Getty Images)

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Photos show one protester sitting in the chair Vice President Mike Pence occupied just minutes earlier.

Metropolitan police confirmed to Global News one woman who was shot inside the Capitol building has died.

She was “pronounced dead at an area hospital,” officers said.

It is not immediately clear who the woman was, or who shot her.

Office break-ins

Trump supporters also breached the offices of elected members of Congress, sitting behind desks and touching their belongings.

Photographers inside the Capitol building caught the break-ins on camera.

(Getty images)

Police outnumbered

Meanwhile, outside, police remained drastically outnumbered by the protesters, and struggled to keep the protesters off of the steps and balconies of the buildings.

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Speaking to Americans on Tuesday, Biden said America’s democracy is “under unprecedented assault, unlike anything we’ve seen in modern times.”


Click to play video 'Biden says U.S. democracy under ‘unprecedented assault’ after pro-Trump rioters storm Capitol buildings'



2:58
Biden says U.S. democracy under ‘unprecedented assault’ after pro-Trump rioters storm Capitol buildings


Biden says U.S. democracy under ‘unprecedented assault’ after pro-Trump rioters storm Capitol buildings

However, Biden said the actions of these “extremists” do not reflect the “true America.”

“They do not represent who we are,” he said, adding that “it must end now.”

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Biden called on Trump to “go on national television now to fulfill his oath and defend the Constitution and demand an end to this siege.”

Biden said today is a “painful reminder” that “democracy is fragile.”


Click to play video 'U.S. election: ‘We will never give up, we will never concede’ Trump tells protesters'



1:05
U.S. election: ‘We will never give up, we will never concede’ Trump tells protesters


U.S. election: ‘We will never give up, we will never concede’ Trump tells protesters

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer echoed Biden’s remarks in a statement, calling on Trump to demand the protestors leave the Capitol building and grounds “immediately.”

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In a video posted to Twitter just before 4:30 p.m. ET, Trump told his supporters: “You have to go home now.”

However, in the video, Trump continued to assert baseless claims that the election had been “stolen.”

Earlier, the president tweeted, asking people at the Capitol to “remain peaceful,” despite reports of protesters and police clashing.

“No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order — respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!” he wrote.

Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has ordered a 6 p.m. curfew.

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According to a Reuters report, the building was considered secured just before 6 p.m. ET.

House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving told House members the building was cleared after they spent several hours in lockdown following evacuation as pro-Trump demonstrators attacked the Capitol.

Republican Senator Mitt Romney said what happened Wednesday was “an insurrection, incited by the President of the United States.”

“Those who choose to continue to support his dangerous gambit by objecting to the results of a legitimate, democratic election will forever be seen as being complicit in an unprecedented attack against our democracy,” he said in a statement.

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“They will be remembered for their role in this shameful episode in American history. That will be their legacy”

Romney said Congress “must not be intimidated or prevented from fulfilling our constitutional duty.”“We must continue with the count of electoral college votes.”

In a tweet Wednesday just after 7 p.m., Pence’s Press Secretary Devin O’Malley said the Vice President has “returned to the Senate.”

O’Malley said Pence was in “regular contact” with House and Senate leadership, police the Department of Justice and the Department of Defense to “facilitate efforts to secure the Capitol & reconvene Congress.”

-With a file from Reuters

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Disinformation Propelled By Social Media And Conspiracy Theories Led To Insurrection – Forbes

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The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2020, was the direct result of a continuous drumbeat of disinformation starting before the Presidential elections in the U.S. in 2020, and continuing past the event itself. That flow of disinformation came largely, but not exclusively, through social media. The constant repetition of false information using a propaganda technique known as “The Big Lie,” has been in common use throughout history.

The advent of mass communication in the 20th Century made this more effective than in the past, and it was perfected by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels before and during World War II. But with social media, it has become even more effective because the claims can be shared and distributed widely. In addition, the nature of social media adds to its effectiveness.

“There’s a consistent pattern of audience cultivation,” says Dave Troy, who researches disinformation on social media. “That’s a hallmark of how psychological operations work. Truth is not a concern and you build out target audiences when you apply a certain type of messaging so you get a response.”

The Effectiveness of Misinformation

Professor David Rand, of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, has studied this in collaboration with Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina. Rand and Pennycook conducted a survey to find out how effective the Misinformation campaign conducted by then-President Donald Trump and others in the Republican Party was.

“What we found was disturbing if not surprising,” Rand said. “A majority really believed the lie,” he said, “77 percent of Trump voters believed in widespread voter fraud.”

Rand said that President Trump and a number of his followers were able to convince a large majority of Trump voters that he won the election, despite the fact that it was untrue.

Rand said that the continuous assertions that Trump actually won the popular vote led to a belief among Trump supporters that this was actually the case. “Repeating it makes people believe it,” Rand said. “You can understand why a large group of people would believe it was their civic duty,” to protest, he said.

“It’s not surprising that people believe it. If all you hear is election fraud, they will believe it,” Rand said. “There’s good scientific evidence that it works.”

Adding to the effectiveness of social media in spreading disinformation is the tendency of social media consumers to prefer communicating with like minded people. “There’s no dialog occurring,” Troy said. “They are different factions, and there’s always some reason why you can’t talk to the other factions.” This factionalism was exploited by Russian intelligence during the 2016 Presidential election as a way to spread disinformation, and other groups have accelerated this, notably Qanon followers who are making use of the tendency of groups to not communicate with others.

A Coordinated Disinformation Campaign

“These are large coordinated disinformation campaigns,” Troy said, “It’s a big networked effect.”

Rand said that he and Pennycook also studied why people shared false content. “Largely it’s inattention,” Rand said. “They forget to think about whether it’s true, but rather how many likes they’ll get. Another feature of social media is that people are more likely to be friends with people who share common ideas.”

He said the study followed random users that were Republicans and Democrats. “People are three times more likely to follow co-partisan accounts,” Rand said. “It’s very basic human psychology. There’s reason to believe that you want to associate with people who share your partisanship.”

While the practice of spreading falsehoods on social media as was done around the 2020 election is new, the practice itself isn’t. And unfortunately, once people buy into the falsehoods, they appear to be self-sustaining, at least for a while.

While you can’t tell people what to think, it is possible to inhibit the spread of falsehoods and the perpetuation of the big Lie. Social media companies did this after the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Other organizations can do it by limiting the spread of social media withing their organization, either through active management, or by technology methods that limit access to social media, or the sharing of social media, on their networks. And of course, knowing that this phenomenon exists at least gives you a chance to control it.

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Disinformation Propelled By Social Media And Conspiracy Theories Led To Insurrection – Forbes

Published

 on


The attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2020, was the direct result of a continuous drumbeat of disinformation starting before the Presidential elections in the U.S. in 2020, and continuing past the event itself. That flow of disinformation came largely, but not exclusively, through social media. The constant repetition of false information using a propaganda technique known as “The Big Lie,” has been in common use throughout history.

The advent of mass communication in the 20th Century made this more effective than in the past, and it was perfected by Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels before and during World War II. But with social media, it has become even more effective because the claims can be shared and distributed widely. In addition, the nature of social media adds to its effectiveness.

“There’s a consistent pattern of audience cultivation,” says Dave Troy, who researches disinformation on social media. “That’s a hallmark of how psychological operations work. Truth is not a concern and you build out target audiences when you apply a certain type of messaging so you get a response.”

The Effectiveness of Misinformation

Professor David Rand, of MIT’s Sloan School of Management, has studied this in collaboration with Gordon Pennycook of the University of Regina. Rand and Pennycook conducted a survey to find out how effective the Misinformation campaign conducted by then-President Donald Trump and others in the Republican Party was.

“What we found was disturbing if not surprising,” Rand said. “A majority really believed the lie,” he said, “77 percent of Trump voters believed in widespread voter fraud.”

Rand said that President Trump and a number of his followers were able to convince a large majority of Trump voters that he won the election, despite the fact that it was untrue.

Rand said that the continuous assertions that Trump actually won the popular vote led to a belief among Trump supporters that this was actually the case. “Repeating it makes people believe it,” Rand said. “You can understand why a large group of people would believe it was their civic duty,” to protest, he said.

“It’s not surprising that people believe it. If all you hear is election fraud, they will believe it,” Rand said. “There’s good scientific evidence that it works.”

Adding to the effectiveness of social media in spreading disinformation is the tendency of social media consumers to prefer communicating with like minded people. “There’s no dialog occurring,” Troy said. “They are different factions, and there’s always some reason why you can’t talk to the other factions.” This factionalism was exploited by Russian intelligence during the 2016 Presidential election as a way to spread disinformation, and other groups have accelerated this, notably Qanon followers who are making use of the tendency of groups to not communicate with others.

A Coordinated Disinformation Campaign

“These are large coordinated disinformation campaigns,” Troy said, “It’s a big networked effect.”

Rand said that he and Pennycook also studied why people shared false content. “Largely it’s inattention,” Rand said. “They forget to think about whether it’s true, but rather how many likes they’ll get. Another feature of social media is that people are more likely to be friends with people who share common ideas.”

He said the study followed random users that were Republicans and Democrats. “People are three times more likely to follow co-partisan accounts,” Rand said. “It’s very basic human psychology. There’s reason to believe that you want to associate with people who share your partisanship.”

While the practice of spreading falsehoods on social media as was done around the 2020 election is new, the practice itself isn’t. And unfortunately, once people buy into the falsehoods, they appear to be self-sustaining, at least for a while.

While you can’t tell people what to think, it is possible to inhibit the spread of falsehoods and the perpetuation of the big Lie. Social media companies did this after the attack on the U.S. Capitol. Other organizations can do it by limiting the spread of social media withing their organization, either through active management, or by technology methods that limit access to social media, or the sharing of social media, on their networks. And of course, knowing that this phenomenon exists at least gives you a chance to control it.

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Turkey slaps ad ban on Twitter under new social media law – The Guardian

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By Can Sezer and Daren Butler

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Ankara has imposed advertising bans on Twitter, Periscope and Pinterest after they failed to appoint local representatives in Turkey under a new social media law, according to decisions published on Tuesday.

Under the law, which critics say stifles dissent, social media companies that do not appoint such representatives are liable for a series of penalties, including the latest move by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (BTK).

The law allows authorities to remove content from platforms, rather than blocking access as they did in the past. It has caused concern as people turn more to online platforms after Ankara tightened its grip on mainstream media.

The latest decisions in the country’s Official Gazette said the advertising bans went into effect from Tuesday. Twitter, its live-streaming app Periscope, and image sharing app Pinterest were not immediately available to comment.

Deputy Transport Minister Omer Fatih Sayan said Twitter and Pinterest’s bandwidth would be cut by 50% in April and by 90% in May. Twitter said last month it would shut down Periscope by March due to declining usage.

“We are determined to do whatever is necessary to protect the data, privacy and rights of our nation,” Sayan said on Twitter. “We will never allow digital fascism and disregard of rules to prevail in Turkey,” he said, echoing tough comments by President Tayyip Erdogan.

On Monday, Facebook Inc joined other companies in saying it would appoint a local representative, but added it would withdraw the person if it faced pressure regarding what is allowed on its platform.

YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc’s Google, said a month ago it would abide the new law, which the government says enhances local oversight of foreign companies.

In previous months Facebook, YouTube and Twitter had faced fines in Turkey for not complying. Companies that do not abide the law will ultimately have their bandwidth slashed, essentially blocking access.

Erdogan said last week that those who control data can establish “digital dictatorships by disregarding democracy, the law, rights and freedoms”. He vowed to defend what he described as the country’s “cyber homeland”.

(Reporting by Can Sezer; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Michael Perry and Jonathan Spicer)

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