NEW HAVEN, CT (WFSB) -- Social media giants are racing to curb the spread of misinformation.

The crackdown follows the deadly siege in the nation’s capital.

As the country braces for more possible violence, police are monitoring what’s being said online.

A keystroke and a click can lead social media users into a portal of falsehoods.

While hashtags like #stopthesteal are temporarily hidden on Facebook, others are popping up with speed.

“Social media platforms are constantly trying to play ‘whack-a-mole’,” said Adam Chiara, assistant professor of communication at the University of Hartford.

The Jan. 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol led to a content crackdown.

Chiara said when users see roadblocks on social media sites, they find alternatives.

“Gab is still being used. There are different message boards that are still being used,” Chiara said.

It has even forced people to send encrypted messages like on “WhatsApp.”

Chiara said the reach isn’t as wide, but violent content and misinformation are still spreading.

However, don’t think it’ll go unnoticed.

“Police agencies can go to actual social media agencies and request stored data, data from years ago. So, we can begin to build dossiers and public profiles on individuals,” said Kalfani Ture, a former officer and now assistant professor of criminal justice at Quinnipiac University.

He said police monitor such rhetoric by operating in covert ways.

“We pretend to be someone in order to establish a relationship or to establish a transaction,” Ture said.

While the nation braces for possible similar uprisings at state capitols and Washington D.C., the FBI in Connecticut said it is monitoring any threats that may arise leading up to, and on, Inauguration Day.

A lot of people are saying social media giants are censoring people and are trampling on the First Amendment, but free speech means the government cannot infringe on your rights.

Social media platforms are private companies and can ban people who don’t follow their rules.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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