GPS data hacked from now-suspended right-wing app Parler shows hundreds users of the social media stormed into the Capitol and then continued to post about it during the hours-long riot with the police and authorities. Technology news website Gizmodoused the hacked data to map thousands of video posts on Parler, which were posted on the social media site on January 6, the day of the riot in Capitol building.
This once again proves how Parler played a key role on the night of the riot and became a magnet for die-hard pro-Trump demonstrators who believe that the election was won by Joe Biden through voter fraud. Parler was blocked by Google and Apple following the riots and on Monday it disappeared from the web after Amazon pulled its web hosting service.
Mapping the Rioters
Tech news website Gizmodo took the hacked data to map around 70,000 geo-located posts on Parler which showed that thousands of them were posted on the day of the riots from near or inside the Capitol, according to a report in the Daily Mail.
Researcher Kyle Mcdonald also created a map of the posts nationwide. Parler had removed all the posts following the riots but a hacker with the Twitter handle @Donk-Enby had archived all the deleted posts that she now claims provide “incriminating evidence” in the wake of the attack at the Capitol building.
The hacker allowed Gizmodo to use her Twitter handle @donk_enby to use all the GPS metadata she had archived, which after being mapped shows thousands of Parler users storming the Capitol, with some of them reaching both chambers of Congress as well as the offices of key politicians.
However, it is difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the app’s users inside the building such as which floor a person is on. Moreover, the data only includes users who posted videos taken on January 6. There are several others who didn’t post at that time, who cannot be traced.
Several supporters of Trump who rioted inside the Capitol last week have been identified as users of Parler which had billed itself as a ‘free speech’ alternative to Twitter. However, not has everyone been traced.
The metadata provided by @Donk_Enby gives coordinates that are also only accurate up to a distance of approximately 12 yards.
Among the thousands of dots shown on the map, Gizmodo says, some near the Capitol rotunda indicate videos were taken in nearby offices, stairwells and hallways leading toward the House and Senate chambers, which shows how far the rioters had reached. Among them one red dot at the centre of the Capitol’s rotunda has been traced to a video that shows rioters in red MAGA hats shouting obscenities about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whose office was vandalized on that day.
Another map of a wider area, including the National Mall and the White House, showed more dots indicating posts made on Parler by people among the thousands of protesters who made their way from the White House to the Capitol.
The protesters comprised white nationalists, neo-Nazis and QAnon conspiracy theorists, coming from states as far-flung as Arizona and Oregon, while photographs from the riot have shown people wearing clothes with a range of antisemitic messages. More than 20 people have been arrested so far and authorities are trying to trace several others.