The online far right is moving underground

What’s happening: Downloads have surged for messaging apps that are securely encrypted or designed to cater specifically to the ultra-conservative user.

Why it matters: Monitoring and curbing chatter that can spark real-world violence is even harder on private and ephemeral platforms than in more public forums…

An Elon Musk tweet late last week urging “Use Signal” likely accounts for at least part of that platform’s pop.

But experts say far-right users are undeniably flocking to those platforms, where they can in some cases communicate in total secrecy.

“It’s absolutely concerning,” said Dipayan Ghosh, a senior fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School. “And it was only to be expected that extremists pushed off of the mainstream social media platforms would move to end-to-end encrypted messaging platforms.”