FBI Profiler Says Banning People on Social Media Makes it Harder to Fight Terrorism

Image Credits: Samuel Corum via Getty Images.

A former FBI profiler told NBC News that banning people on social media makes it harder to fight terrorism because it stops authorities from being able to keep track of their activity.

The remark was made in the context of a report about one of the individuals who stormed the Capitol building earlier this month – 70-year-old Lonnie Coffman.

Coffman drove a pickup truck to the protest filled with Molotov cocktails and other weapons including improvised grenades and an assault rifle, but flew completely under the radar because he had no social media presence.

The individual had no criminal record, no known extremist ties and not a single person in the town of Falkville where Coffman lived knew who he was.

“Coffman’s statements to police following his arrest and some writings found inside his truck indicate he was struggling financially and fixated on right-wing views,” states the report.

According to Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI criminal profiler, Coffman’s example proves that “the purging of people with radical views from popular social platforms, which has escalated in recent weeks, deprives investigators of a crucial tool in tracking people who might move along the continuum of ideation to action.”

“We know there are going to be guys out there that are not happy over the next four years with the Biden administration,” Van Zandt said.

“The authorities really have got their work cut out for them to identify Ted Kaczynski-type individuals who are sitting out there planning to make a difference in the world,” he added.

Despite the obvious outcome that mass social media censorship doesn’t extinguish extremism, it merely drives it underground and makes it harder to track, the media once again united after the Capitol building attack to call for mass censorship.

After three years of intense social media banning, deplatforming and blacklisting, political extremism on both sides only appears to have worsened.

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