It has been a few months since the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021 that left five people dead and triggered a second impeachment process of then-President Donald Trump. But it is worth revisiting the event as video researchers, because it provides a perfect example of the potential of how we can combine Video Data Analysis and computational methods to do important research. On that day, a hacker using the Twitter handle @donk_enby used the communication platform Parler’s API to (legally) crawl the platform and pull videos as well as their meta data, which often included GPS coordinates. As a result, it is possible to analyze the events of that day with much more precision, because locations of videos are known to us as researchers. It is also possible to map Parler users in space, as they posted videos to the platform, as can be seen in a graphic published on Gizmodo.

If you are interested in ideas for combining Video Data Analysis and computational methods, have a look at this talk Nicolas Legewie gave at the 2019 Blankensee-Colloquium:

Anne Nassauer and Nicolas Legewie also wrote about this issue in the report of the Blankensee-Colloquium, as well as this paper on methodological innovations in violence research (in German). Both articles are open source.

If you are interested in the procedures @donk_enby and others used, check out this Gizmodo article that provides some details, as well as further links on the topic.