But others ― old acquaintances of the defendants who are only “friends” with them on social media ― are clearly relishing the moment.
In case after case that federal authorities have brought in connection with the insurrection, there has been a consistent theme. Old associates ― from high school or college or young adulthood ― have gone to the FBI with tips about the people they’ve been following for years on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
They watched their former associates get sucked into online conspiracy theories and a cultlike dedication to Trump. They read their bigoted posts about Black Lives Matter or their lie-filled screeds about a stolen election. They had their own comments trolled. And when their online nemeses finally crossed the line into outright criminal activity, they turned them in to the feds.