An investigation launched by The Heritage Foundation’s Oversight Project found in early April that the FBI associated common social media language with “violent extremism.”
Using a Freedom of Information Act request, The Heritage Foundation accessed a glossary of terms used by the FBI to flag indications of “involuntary celibate violent extremism” or “racially or ethnically motivated violent extremism,” according to documents posted on Twitter. Phrases such as “LARPing,” “red pill,” and “based” were all considered part of racial and ethical-extremist language, according to the documents.
The FBI also listed terms like “red pill; black pill,” “rope,” and “chad,” as part of linguistics used by involuntary celibate violent extremism, or “incels.” The document further argues that incels are those possibly wanting to “commit violence in support of their beliefs that society unjustly denies them sexual or romantic attention, to which they believe they are entitled.”
NEW: Docs we obtained show how @FBI equates protected online speech to violence.
— Oversight Project (@OversightPR) April 3, 2023
Many of the terms used on both lists are used broadly across the internet in a joking or innocuous nature, or in relation to self-pity, Fox News reported. For example, the term “red pill” has been part of pop culture since being introduced in the 1999 hit “The Matrix.”
Apparently “based” is defined by the FBI as “referring to someone who has been converted to racist ideology, or as a way of indicating ideological agreement.” Again, Fox News reported that the term “based” literally just means something is “cool” or “agreeable” in the context of “anti-woke” norms. (RELATED: Reading ‘Lord Of The Rings’ And ‘1984’ Could Lead To Right-Wing Extremism, Gov’t Report Warns)
A series of different “influential literature” and “historical influential figures” were also listed as part of the FOIA release. Top of the list was “Mein Kampf,” by genocidal dictator Adolf Hitler, as well as “Siege” by James Mason, amongst others.