„But even on mainstream platforms, acts of violence had been openly advocated. In a TikTok video, one Trump supporter asked his fellows to bring their guns to the protests.
For that reason, the escalation in violence could have hardly come as a surprise to US authorities, says Alexander Ritzmann, a consultant to the European Commissions Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) and advisor to the Counter Extremism Project (CEP).
“They must have known,” Ritzmann told EURACTIV Germany. According to public FBI documents, the Bureau has been closely following the activities of online groups such as QAnon, a loose collective of conspiracy theorists who believe Donald Trump is their only saviour from the villains among Washington’s “elite”.
The FBI considers QAnon and other “conspiracy theory-driven domestic extremists” as a terrorist threat.
In Brussels, lawmakers are finalising a regulation on terrorist content online (TCO). Among other things, it will introduce a stricter notice-and-action-system which will force platforms to delete terrorist content within an hour of notification.
However, Ritzmann believes that any system relying on notice-and-action cannot be sufficient as long as platforms can lean back and wait until users or authorities ask them to act.“