Although individuals on the far right, fascists, and white supremacists had a prior presence on Telegram, the aftermath of the 6 January 2021 Capitol Insurrection significantly impacted their online ecosystem. Deplatforming resulted in a surge of new traffic to Telegram where channels and online groups have seen an increase in channel subscribership and group membership. Toxic narratives are reaching increasingly wider audiences. Numerous groups and ideologies, such as anti-government militias, Proud Boys, QAnon, and other conspiracy theorists, had an on-the-ground presence at the Capitol but this study will primarily focus on content distributed from white supremacist and fascist Telegram channels.
The article will first describe the methodology used for data collection followed by an examination of primary themes and a consideration of the wider impact these narratives. Finally, the conclusion will offer policy suggestions for social media platforms and identify areas for further research.