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Meet the social media detectives who are trawling through a sea of online footage to help identify the US Capitol insurrectionists

Meet the social media detectives who are trawling through a sea of online footage to help identify the US Capitol insurrectionists

A pro-Trump protester takes a photo of other protesters who climbed a media platform after breaking through barriers onto the grounds of the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC.
Jon Cherry/Getty Images




Thousands of people on social media have taken it upon themselves to help authorities identify some of the Trump supporters who stormed the US Capitol last week.




Using publicly available photos, videos, social media accounts, several analysts and civilians have been successfully verifying some of the rioters.




Their work has led to multiple arrests and has also prompted some companies to fire their employees.




FBI Assistant Director Steven M. D'Antuono said this week that the agency received more than 100,000 pieces of digital media.




Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.


As hundreds of angry Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol last week, Dylan Reeves immediately went to work.The New Zealand-based film producer logged onto social media, searching for any clues, video, and photographic evidence to determine what exactly had happened and who the violent insurrectionists were. "Watching the situation unfold in the US was incredible," Reeves told Insider. "I'd seen talk of invading the Capitol and interrupting the certification, but I don't think I could have imagined it would be as effective as it turned out to be."Reeves said that while he is no expert - and only had minimal experience with open-source investigations - he was eager to help identify some of the protesters because he always "enjoyed solving puzzles."
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