Author ORCID Identifier

Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Computer Sciences


The events of 6 th January 2021 in the United States of America, where rioters stormed the heart of their democracy, the US Capitol Complex (which houses their bicameral parliament) were shocking to see. The reasons for this riot were myriad, including to protest the outcomes of the presidential elections and two senate elections, as well as to prevent the counting that day of the electoral votes that formally certify the election result. These events will be analysed and reflected upon for years to come, and blame will be placed at many people’s doors, and inevitability one that has already been singled out is social media. As Irish-born CNN reporter Donie O'Sullivan said during the event: “In 2016 people tried to write of anything about social media, saying oh, it's only a few Facebook posts, what harm? Here's the harm. The harm of conspiracy theories, the harm of people living in these online and Trump media echo chambers.” And now questions are being asked of social media, including Facebook and Twitter, the primary communication media of President Donald Trump.