The far right's fear of "glowies"

During the Trump administration, many far-right groups’ main concern was figuring out how to recruit more people to the cause. But as federal law-enforcement officials continue to round up people suspected of involvement in the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, and Joe Biden’s administration promises a crackdown on white-supremacist and anti-government radicals, extremists are on the verge of a crack-up, posting widely and worriedly about spies in their midst—“glowies.” That’s the term far-right groups use to describe people they suspect of being federal law-enforcement agents or informants infiltrating their communication channels, trying to catch them plotting violence, or prodding them into illegal acts.

The term is in widespread use among extremists: On January 6, one Telegram user made their channel, which was popular with the far right, private because “nameless faceless glowies are joining.” Two days later, another person suggested that glowies would “float dead cop story, to redirect public attention and sympathy,” referring to the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, who was beaten with a fire extinguisher during the riot and later died. One user recommended downloading an alternative platform, ZeroNet, saying, “Glowies cannot take it down.”