June 4, 2024 | CNN

Online reactions to Trump’s guilty verdict could serve as catalysts for acts of violence and radicalization

Following former President Donald Trump’s guilty verdict Friday, ISD conducted a rapid-response analysis of online reactions on mainstream and alt-tech platforms, finding not only violent and incendiary posts, but also anti-government and conspiracies that have been known to catalyse real-world harms in the past, as well as contribute to the radicalization of fringe individuals. Analysts found hundreds of calls for violence including threats to the judge and jurors involved in the New York trial, violent rhetoric against other perceived enemies and fantasies of overthrowing the government. CNN features our findings in an article about online threats, activity suggesting to dox the jurors involved in the trial.

ISD’s analysts found striking similarities between the online reactions to the guilty verdict and those observed following the execution of a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago in August 2022. As CNN reports, within a day after Trump’s guilty verdict was announced Friday, ISD identified 9,300 online posts that mentioned unrest-related keywords, similar to the 9,900 identified posts following the 2022 Mar-a-Lago search.

As outlined in our findings and referenced by CNN, these false and misleading narratives surrounding the guilty verdict “have the potential to serve as a catalyst for individual acts of violence and other illegal activity, while also continuing to increase distrust in our democratic institutions.”

The full investigation is available on our website.