Jacob Chansley is in hot water after a night of cosplay went terribly awry. Known forever as “the QAnon Shaman”, federal prosecutors characterized Chansley as “the flag bearer” of the Capitol Riots, a major player who invested heavily in the preparation and execution of the storm on Congress during then-President-Elect, Joe Biden’s counting of the votes.
Chansley has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison. As one of the most visible and memorable figures of the riot, Chansley was targeted by prosecutors for symbolic reasons. His attorney pleaded for leniency on the basis of mental illness. Chansley pleaded guilty to a single count of obstructing Congress during official proceedings. He encouraged his large social media following to join him identifying traitors within the government and stopping the steal of the election from Donald Trump.
Chansley reached out to Trump to pardon him, but Trump refused, probably due to concerns that he orchestrated the assault on Congress to prevent Biden from becoming president. Chansley stated that his effort was to “bring God back to Congress”. He admitted when addressing the court that he “was really messed up”.
Should Chansley have been targeted as a promoter?
The prosecution, evidently, wanted Chansley badly. Not only was he one of the most visible and memorable symbols of the QAnon conspiracy and violent fallout, but he had a substantial social media following that he mined to provoke the attack. Using language that could only be interpreted as a call to violence, Chansley exhorted his following to “hang the traitors among us” among other provocations and extremely charged language against Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence who he labeled a “child trafficking traitor” without evidence.
The rage and profit engine
Social media sites are under increased fire from regulators after allowing the organization of the Capitol Riot on sites like Facebook, 4Chan, and Twitter. These social media giants are being accused of promoting content that only makes people angry. Why? Well, this content tends to have the most interactions, and interactions, whether good or bad, are considered when Facebook’s algorithm decides what content deserves a promotion. This has created a situation in which political candidates feel as though they have to run nasty campaigns to ensure victory.
This has also created a second problem. In the echo chamber of Facebook, it is possible to cultivate your feed in such a manner that you only get information from specially-selected sources. This means there is not only a growing divide between people on opposite ends of the political spectrum, but they increasingly lack the language to talk to one another and have radically different worldviews that make common ground impossible to establish. Once you’ve demonized someone, they are no longer human to you. We are seeing people who look at other people who may oppose their interests as subhuman “traitors” or “child trafficking traitors”, a concept known as pseudospeciation used to justify the worst horrors of human history.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney Today
If your night of cosplay didn’t turn out the way you expected, a West Palm Beach criminal defense attorney who handles federal cases may be able to help. Call Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.