Watch CBS News

What Happens To Pro-Trump Insurrectionists Now That There's A New President? The Answer Could Lie With New Social Media Apps

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Despite the fact President Trump left Washington D.C. Wednesday, he left clues hinting that he'll be back.

And so did his supporters.

CBS 2's Chris Tye reports on what happens as a new president takes aim at the insurrectionists who targeted the U.S. Capitol.

Those who study extremism said days like today are crossroads. Some of the extremists in the Trump camp may break off. Others may double down. But the first indicator of what's next is what gets said online. Just as important: where it is said.

How will the tougher approach on insurrectionist America be received by those who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6?

"The more hardcore elements or the more dedicated elements will continue the fight in some form or another. We just don't know yet what form that will take."

Professor Amarnath Amarasingam studies extremism at Queens University in Canada. He said which online platform the extreme right uses in the future may indicate the tone and tenacity of what's next.

"For a long time, these far right organizations were allowed to operate out in the open on mainstream platforms," Amarasingam said.

But under pressure from Wall Street and Washington, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram removed the groups. A far right version of Twitter known as Parler emerged, until it went dark in the days after the attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"A little too early to say where they are going to end up, but seems like, for the time being, they are congregating on Telegram," Amarasingam said.

He said Telegram, once used by ISIS, amplifies anti-Semitic and violent dialogue. Others with names like Wimkin, MeWe and Gab are being used by members of the so-called Trump celebrity class.

What will be the former president's new platform of choice?

"You might see a large flock of people go to whatever platform he is on," Amarasingam said. "And other pro-Trump celebrities might be on."

If departing Washington mean departing the limelight, some experts said a certain wing of his extreme fan base may take an extreme step and unplug.

"I think we will see quite a few of his supporters just decide that the fight is over and go back to what they were doing," Amarasingam said.

Also From CBS Chicago:

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.