With the fallout from the events of January 6th set to continue for the foreseeable future, there is no telling what sort of strange new turns our national political discourse could take. There is already a glut of extremism easily accessible online, both in quasi-private places like discord, and blasted to the front page of places like Reddit. We live a digital world of algorithmic acceleration, where the reaction with the most amplitude is the one we strive for, whether it be on either side of the moral divide.
And so extremism goes, as well. These radical beliefs are the loudest conservations having on the internet today, and so they are prime fodder for the algorithm’s amplification. It’s a vicious cycle that grows swifter by the minute.
In an effort to keep our lawmakers safe from potential interactions with these far-our political forces, Capitol Police will now be conducting social media screenings for those who visit their public servants.
After the Jan. 6 insurrection, the Capitol Police’s intelligence unit quietly started scrutinizing the backgrounds of people who meet with lawmakers, according to three people familiar with the matter.
POLITICO also viewed written communications describing the new approach, part of a host of changes that the department implemented after the Capitol attack. Examining the social media feeds of people who aren’t suspected of crimes, however, is a controversial move for law enforcement and intelligence officials given the civil liberties concerns it raises.Trending:
Among those who have been subject to new Capitol Police scrutiny are Hill staffers, the three people said. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
The move is in a morally grey area, of course, as there has been no presumption of wrongdoing against those who apply to meet their lawmaker. This search and seizure of online data could run afoul of the 4th Amendment.