Cyber Swarming, Memetic Warfare and Viral Insurgency: How Domestic Militants Organize on Memes to Incite Violent Insurrection and Terror Against Government and Law Enforcement

The Report you are about to read, “Cyber Swarming: Memetic Warfare and Viral Insurgency,” represents a breakthrough case study in the capacity to identify cyber swarms and viral insurgencies in nearly real time as they are developing in plain sight. The result of an analysis of over 100 million social media comments, the authors demonstrate how the “boogaloo meme,” “a joke for some, acts as a violent meme that circulates instructions for a violent, viral insurgency for others.” Using it, like turning off the transponders on 9/11, enables the extremists to hide in plain sight, disappearing into the clutter of innocent messages, other data points. It should be of particular concern, the authors note, for the military, for whom “the meme’s emphasis on military language and culture poses a special risk.”

Because most of law enforcement and the military remain ignorant of “memetic warfare,” the authors demonstrate, extremists who employ it “possess a distinct advantage over government officials and law enforcement.” As with the 9/11 terrorists, “they already realize that they are at war. Public servants cannot afford to remain ignorant of this subject because as sites, followers, and activists grow in number, memes can reach a critical threshold and tipping point, beyond which they can suddenly saturate and mainstream across entire cultures.” This Report is at once an urgent call to recognize an emerging threat and a prescription for how to counter it. As such, it offers that rarest of opportunities: the chance to stop history from repeating itself.

Tags: Cyber Swarming, law enforcement, Memetic Warfare, Viral Insurgency