More than half of the people facing charges for participating in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot with available public records have faced serious financial woes, according to an analysis.
More than 200 people have been arrested for participating in the Capitol riot, which temporarily delayed the certification of President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, according to USA Today. In the wake of the riot, the focus of Congress, the White House and the media has been on addressing online misinformation and QAnon, but this new analysis shows there might be another dimension.
Of the 200 arrests, the Washington Post was able to analyze the financial records of 125 people. Nearly 60% of those people, about 75, faced financial difficulties, including bankruptcy and eviction, according to that analysis.
NEW: The majority of the people arrested for Capitol riot had a history of financial trouble
— Heather Long (@byHeatherLong) February 10, 2021
That number is roughly five times larger than the number of riot participants who expressed belief in the QAnon conspiracy theory. Thirteen rioters “voiced a clear affiliation with QAnon, according to court documents and confirmed social media accounts,” a New York Times analysis found. The Times analysis reviewed federal cases through the end of January.
American University political science professor Cynthia Miller-Idriss told the Washington Post that the data suggests “more than just economic insecurity but [rather] a deep-seated feeling of precarity about their personal situation.”
“And that precarity—combined with a sense of betrayal or anger that someone is taking something away—mobilized a lot of people that day,” she added.
In the wake of the riot, politicians and media commenters have called for crackdowns on QAnon and the social media sites that allegedly allow it.
The social media app Parler was removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play store after both companies claimed that it did not do enough to prevent users from planning illegal activity on the app. Rioters allegedly used Facebook the most in their planning to take the Capitol, according to a Forbes analysis that found 73 mentions of Facebook in over 200 documents related to the riot. Parler was mentioned eight times, according to Forbes. (RELATED: Coordinated Deplatforming Of Parler Under Question As Arrest Numbers Highlight Facebook’s Role In Capitol Hill Riot)
Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez suggested that Congress should “rein in our media environment so that you can’t just spew disinformation and misinformation,” in a Jan. 13 Instagram live stream.
Experts recently told The New York Times that Biden should consider creating a task force on misinformation headed by a “reality czar.”