According to Gizmodo, U.S. intelligence officials have been investigating how neo-Nazis, Capitol rioters, and other violent extremists have been infiltrating the streaming service DLive — not just as a way to recruit young people into their movement, but also as a way to raise money in a way hidden from authorities.
"Analysts charged with keeping tabs on violent extremist organizations warned of streaming service DLive's rising popularity for 'recruitment and propaganda distribution,' while pointing to the app's use by pro-Trump insurrectionists who breached deep inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6," reported Dell Cameron.
In one of the most visible examples, infamous far-right internet personality "Baked Alaska," now charged in the Capitol riot, streamed the event on DLive, where users cheered him on and urged acts of violence and destruction.
users on Tim Gionet's, aka Baked Alaska, live stream on DLive are calling to give lawmakers the "rope" and to "hang… https://t.co/1h5MeTDG4n— hannah gais (@hannah gais) 1609964139.0
According to officials, the real draw for extremists on DLive is how it lets them raise money on the down low.
"The ability to fundraise using DLive's micropayment system was likely a key factor," said the report. "According to the bulletin, DLive's in-house currency, known as 'lemons,' offered the 'means to raise funds to further their extremist agenda,' analysts wrote. DLive users can purchase lemons — worth around one U.S. penny a pop — using a credit card, cryptocurrency, or Amazon Pay. Like a 'tip,' the donation of lemons serves as a form of gratuity for content creators. They can be cashed out in exchange for real money upon request."
"While the development of alternative platforms, such as DLive, is likely intended to diversify the current selection of available live streaming services, violent extremists seeking a new platform to promote extremist-related content likely view DLive as a refuge," concluded the intelligence report. "Key features, including secure and private connections, limited censorship, and quick transfer of cryptocurrency to tangible cash, may increase the platform's attractiveness to violent extremist groups seeking to exploit such features to further their extremist agenda."