ARCHIVING THE INSURRECTION: THE CASE OF R/DATAHOARDER
Keywords:reddit, crowdsourcing, archive, capitol riots, social media
AbstractOn January 6th, 2021, right-wing demonstrators forcibly entered the United States Capitol building in an effort to disrupt the certification of the 2020 presidential election. Rioters documented their efforts on social media and live-streaming platforms, creating a digital footprint of their actions. In response, members of the r/DataHoarder subreddit initiated an ad-hoc archival project to collect, deduplicate, and preserve incriminating evidence from the Capitol insurrection. This research examines the r/DataHoarder insurrection archive through the lens of a collective and spontaneous archival project. I examine the methodology undertaken by the Redditors as well as their underlying values and motivations informing their data hoarding in response to the national event. I apply thematic coding as well as quantitative analysis to a dataset of 2,700 Reddit comments documenting the archival effort. I find that users were drawn to the archive project out of a desire to contribute to law enforcement efforts, enact punitive justice upon the rioters, engage in public discourse, and preserve information for posterity. Redditors who engaged with the project repeatedly tended to focus on technical and coordination tasks while single-time participants offered encouragement and identified sources for archiving. Calls to reveal personal information about rioters or to target their places of employment were often ignored and typically proposed by Redditors who did not engage with the project otherwise.
How to Cite
Chapman, E. M. (2023). ARCHIVING THE INSURRECTION: THE CASE OF R/DATAHOARDER. AoIR Selected Papers of Internet Research, 2022. https://doi.org/10.5210/spir.v2022i0.12987