Paranoia and accusations cloud efforts to launch ‘Justice for January 6’ rally

The extremist forums that cheered on the Jan. 6 Capitol attack have soured on the planned Saturday rally in Washington, insisting without evidence that the event is a secret government plot to arrest more people involved in the riot.

Users in extreme far-right Facebook groups and extremist forums such as TheDonald and 4chan, which previously hosted pictures of users streaming into Washington hotel rooms and even maps of the Capitol tunnel system in the days before the Jan. 6 riot, are largely steering users away from the upcoming event.

Those posting on these forums say they largely believe the event to be a setup for a “false flag” event or “honeypot,” in which they’ll be entrapped and coerced to commit violence by federal agents.

The shift offers a window into how the dynamics among some of the most active and extremist online forums have changed in the aftermath of Jan. 6, which has led to hundreds of arrests. Paranoia drives many conversations, and it appears to be inhibiting some extremists’ ability to organize on the open web.

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