Interactive map puts web users in the thick of the US Capitol riot


The interactive map features videos published on the social network Parler during the Capitol Hill riots on Jan 6. — AFP Relaxnews

A developer has created an interactive map of the Capitol Hill insurrection, which took place in Washington DC, Jan 6, drawing on data from the conservative “free speech” social network, “Parler”. The map could help the FBI in its efforts to locate and identify the instigators of the riot.

Each red dot on the map corresponds to a video recorded at that location. On this interactive map – made by a developer going by the pseudonym, Patr10tic – web users can see videos of the Capitol Hill riot published on the social network, Parler. It is the first platform of its kind, giving anyone and everyone an overview of the events of Jan 6 in Washington in an immersive way, reports Motherboard.

The mystery developer used the GPS data of content garnered from the Parler application by a hacker, known under the pseudonym donk_enby, to re-upload the videos published in and around the Capitol building. The project, currently dubbed “Y’all Qaeda”, reveals the massive presence of users of the right-wing “free speech" social network, which has now been pulled offline. Certain videos show pro-Trump rioters chanting “WHOSE HOUSE? OUR HOUSE” or “USA” in the Capitol building, Motherboard reports.

This wealth of evidence could help the FBI to identify and arrest the instigators of this violence, even if some arrests have already been made. Some videos have shocked viewers, both with their violence and the inaction of certain police officers in the face of the pro-Trump rioters, as seen in one of the videos online.

“I didn’t need terabytes and terabytes of videos, just the ones on the Capitol grounds, so I sorted through the GPS coordinates based on proximity, and obtained the video IDs for just those files,” Patr10tic told Motherboard. Fifty or so videos have already been manually uploaded to the map, Motherboard reports, with more coming soon thanks to a new automated process: “Fortunately I just found an automated replacement, so I should be able to get the rest up tonight when I can deploy that solution,” said the developer, who describes themselves on Twitter as “Working to defend our country”.

Still, the developer is concerned that all these videos could be deleted from YouTube, where they are hosted: “The real danger is YouTube killing the channel, then it’ll all be for nothing. If that happens I’ll have to find some other way, so at least law enforcement has the tool.” – AFP Relaxnews

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