Far-right groups move online conversations from social media to chat apps — and out of view of law enforcement

Right-wing groups on chat apps like Telegram are swelling with new members after Parler disappeared and a backlash against Facebook and Twitter, making it harder for law enforcement to track where the next attack could come from.

After the attack on the U.S. Capitol last week, major tech companies clamped down on right-wing extremists, kicking thousands of conspiracy theory accounts off Twitter and shutting down the social network Parler. But those conversations usually took place in the open on well-documented, public-facing channels.

Now, conversations about potential attacks and protests around Inauguration Day are taking place on a wide mix of public and private feeds and chats on Dubai-based Telegram and other services like MeWe, according to law enforcement officials and extremism researchers.

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