A group of Mifflin County residents is charged with involvement in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol after posting about their experiences on social media, which included calls for additional violence from one of them.
Christy and Matthew Clark, and their friend Paul Spigelmyer, are each accused of illegally entering restricted buildings, violent entry and disorderly conduct. All three are from the Lewistown area.
Shortly after the riot, tips were sent to the FBI regarding Christy Clark and her husband, who had posted pictures and comments on her public Facebook page, according to the affidavit filed by an FBI investigator.
The tipsters shared where the Clarks lived and those connected with them on social media took screenshots of Christy Clark’s account, the affidavit states.
One photo posted on Christy Clark’s page appears to be taken from the stairs on or near the East Front of the U.S. Capitol, which is a restricted area, investigators said. Another image appears to be taken from inside the Capitol Rotunda.
A search of Christy Clark’s Facebook account showed private messages to a possible family member, in which she said the Capitol had been breached, according to the affidavit.
“All good, we were inside,” Christy Clark wrote in a message and clarified by saying “Capital” [sic] when the person she was talking to asked where she was.
Another photo associated with the account appeared to show the rotunda of the Capitol, according to the affidavit. A comment under the photo, which was also shared in private messages from Christy Clark’s account, said “I stopped and took a second to pray before I took this pic. It was overwhelming to say the least.”
Matthew Clark’s account shared fewer posts during the riot, but someone else did leave a post on his page thanking him for “Representing Mifflin County at the Protests in Washington yesterday,” according to the affidavit.
Matthew Clark had posts saying the National Mall around the Washington Monument was packed with “PATRIOTS” and later that the Capitol had been breached.
He also posted a photo from outside the building.
Throughout the investigation, Spigelymyer was connected to the Clarks through prior police records and social media, according to the affidavit. He was tagged in several photos from Matthew Clark’s account from around Washington D.C. on Jan. 6.
In a private message, Christy Clark wrote that they were bringing Spigelmyer to D.C., saying “now he is a wired old man,” according to the affidavit.
Investigators were able to connect Spigelymyer to two Facebook accounts, one under his legal name and one under “Bob White,” according to the affidavit.
On Spigelmyer’s Facebook under his legal name, he wrote several posts celebrating the riot and advocating for the Capitol to “burn to the ground.” The following are examples of his posts:
- “What happened at the capital yesterday should and must continue till this election fraud is stopped”
- “My view of the capital is, burn it to the ground”
- “I am all for more protest and storming the capital building and I would love to see them burn it to the ground”
- “The capital building needs to be burnt down it doesn’t belong to the people that work there.”
Spigelmyer also used private messages to share a photo with a friend, saying it was “the moment we stormed the doors,” according to the affidavit. He also told the friend he was in the “second round of people” to break into the Capitol.
The second account, under the name Bob White, was connected to Spigelmyer due to the pronunciation guide on the account, which phonetically spells the account name as “PA-ul SPEE-gel-MY-er,” according to the affidavit.
The profile picture of the Bob White account shows Spigelmyer in clothing that matches a man seen in security footage and photos from the riot, according to the affidavit. One of the surveillance photos appears to show all three suspects.
According to the Department of Justice database for Capitol breach cases, the Clarks and Spigelmyer are not in custody.
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Facebook-Meta Earns the ‘Worst Company of 2021’ Title in This Survey
Facebook parent Meta has been named the Worst Company of the Year (2021) by Yahoo Finance respondents. According to the publication, an “open-ended” survey was published on Yahoo Finance on December 4 and 5, where 1,541 respondents participated. Facebook received 8 percent of the write-in vote, but respondents were seemingly mad about the Robinhood trading app as well. Electric truck startup Nikola, which was named last year’s worst company by the same publication also faced respondents ire.
Yahoo Finance even highlights, “At the same time, some critics, including conservatives, say Facebook over-policed the platform’s speech and stifled their voices.” Critics also blame Facebook and other social media platforms for not curbing hate speech that led to Capitol Building riots.
However, around 30 percent of Yahoo Finance readers said that Facebook or Meta could redeem itself. One respondent suggested that the company could issue a formal apology for negligence and donate a sizable amount of its profits to a foundation to help reverse its harm.
On the other hand, respondents chose Microsoft as the Company of the Year (2021). The Satya Nadella-led company touched the trillion-mark this year and introduced notable upgrades. The most notable is the Windows 11 OS update that succeeds Windows 10.
Facebook pays 1.7 Cr fine to Russia after failing to delete content Moscow deems illegal
In the latest legal tussle with Russia over controversial social media regulation laws, Facebook paid 17 million roubles (Rs 1.7 Crore) for failing to remove content deemed illegal by Moscow. With a threat of potential larger fines looming, Facebook parent company Meta, owned by Mark Zuckerberg, is scheduled to face court next week over repeated violations of Russian legislation on content, Interfax News Agency reported. As per the latest updates, the social media giant could be fined a percentage of its annual revenue.
In October, Moscow sent state bailiffs to enforce the collection of 17 million roubles. Meanwhile, as per Interfax report citing a federal bailiffs’ database, on Sunday, there were more enforcement proceedings against the company. Apart from the popular social media app, Telegram has also paid 15 million roubles in fines for failing to comply with the Russian social media legislations that came into force in 2016.
Facebook pays $53k to Russia for refusing controversial social media laws
It is pertinent to mention that Facebook has locked horns with Moscow earlier in November, resulting in it paying 4 million roubles ($53,000) over its refusal to adhere to Russian data localisation laws, the Moscow Times reported. The Moscow court on November 25 had said that Facebook paid the fine levied in February, following which all proceedings against the US-based social media giant. The payment comes against the litigation filed against the company in 2018, alongside Twitter. The tech companies were also forced to pay an additional 3000 rubles ($40) for failing to comply with user data sharing rules as per the law. The Russian authorities have also previously blocked LinkedIn, owned by Microsoft, for failing to abide by the laws.
Russian social media laws
As per Moscow Times, under the Russian social media regulation laws, all foreign technology companies are required to store data related to Russian customers and users on servers located in Russia. Additionally, the Russian tech companies will also have to share encryption data with the federal authorities as well as record user calls, messages and civil society group conversation records. The apparatus is said to be a severe breach of privacy rights and unfettered back-door access to personal data that could be used to harass Kremlin critics.
Facebook Messenger Is Launching a Split Payments Feature for Users to Quickly Share Expenses
Meta has announced the arrival of a new Split Payments feature in Facebook Messenger. This feature, as the name suggests, will let you calculate and split expenses with others right from Facebook Messenger. This feature essentially looks to bring an easier method to share the cost of bills and expenses — for example, splitting a dinner bill with friends. Using this new Split Payment feature, Facebook Messenger users will be able to split bills evenly or modify the contribution for each individual, including their own.
The company took to its blog post to announce the new Split Payment feature in Facebook Messenger. 9to5Mac reports that this new bill splitting feature is still in beta and will be exclusive to US users at first. The rollout will begin early next week. As mentioned, it will help users share the cost of bills, expenses, and payments. This feature is especially useful for those who share an apartment and need to split the monthly rent and other expenses with their mates. It could also come handy at a group dinner with many people.
With Split Payments, users can add the number of people the expense needs to be divided with and, by default, the amount entered will be divided in equal parts. A user can also modify each person’s contribution including their own. To use Split Payments, click the Get Started button in a group chat or the Payments Hub in Messenger. Users can modify the contribution in the Split Payments option and send a notification to all the users who need to make payments. After entering a personalised message and confirming your Facebook Pay details, the request will be sent and viewable in the group chat thread.
Once someone has made the payment, you can mark their transaction as ‘completed’. The Split Payment feature will automatically take into account your share as well and calculate the amount owed accordingly.
Tasneem Akolawala is a Senior Reporter for Gadgets 360. Her reporting expertise encompasses smartphones, wearables, apps, social media, and the overall tech industry. She reports out of Mumbai, and also writes about the ups and downs in the Indian telecom sector. Tasneem can be reached on Twitter at @MuteRiot, and leads, tips, and releases can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.