'IT'S 1776, BABY!': BROADCASTING REVOLUTIONARY PERFORMANCE DURING THE U.S. CAPITOL RIOTS
Keywords:platforms, live-streaming, social networking, video content, dissent
This presentation focuses on the documentation and mediation of the January 6, 2021 breach of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump in an effort to overturn the certification of Joseph Biden’s electoral victory. We analyzed videos participants recorded and shared through a variety of social networking, live-streaming, and messaging applications. We offer a cross-platform descriptive analysis of footage transmitted from participants during the Capitol Riots from seven different platforms: the social networking sites Facebook, Twitter, and Parler; the live-streaming sites DLive, Twitch, and Periscope; and the messaging application Snapchat. In examining this range of platforms and applications, we argue not just for the importance of attending to the documentation of violent protests, but to also account for the broad spectrum of possibilities at play across the ecology of digital video-sharing platforms in building digitally networked publics. This analysis allows us to provisionally argue that the Capitol Rioters were not only interested in particular political outcomes; they were also interested in mediated outcomes that were consciously drawing from the structured affordances of their smartphones and their online networks to create many different media spectacles that were distributed across an ecology of platforms.