A Prelude to Insurrection: How a 4chan Refrain Anticipated the Capitol Riot

Marc Tuters


This paper looks at how vernacular practices associated with fringe web communities seem to have found their way into reactionary American politics in recent years. Combining concepts from political communication (Bennett and Segerberg 2013) and from assemblage theory (Samson 2020), the paper looks at how key elements of the Capitol insurrection narrative initially emerged on 4chan as meme about a second civil war (called "the Boogaloo"), then spreading to social media and amplified by President Trump. In an effort to make sense of this relationship between the fringe the mainstream, the paper offers both original empirical analysis as well as conceptual innovation. 


Internet memes, post-digital far-right, assemblage theory, connective action, entryism, memetic antagonism, obfuscation, bottom-up agenda setting


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ISSN: 1930-014X