Extremists Respond to Trump’s Voter Fraud Conspiracies: ‘Fuck It, Arm Up’

“Georgians better be ready to lock and load. If it gets violent, shoot first,” one member of The Donald wrote on Tuesday.
donald trump election conspiracies
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at Sioux Gateway Airport on November 3, 2022 in Sioux City, Iowa. (Photo: The Asahi Shimbun via Getty Images)

Even before polls closed on Election Day, former President Donald Trump started posting conspiracies about election fraud. Within minutes, his supporters used those posts to start issuing violent threats against election officials and lawmakers.

VICE News and Advance Democracy, a nonpartisan organization that tracks extremists online, found that the threats were posted on far-right message boards like the Donald and 4chan, as well as on more mainstream platforms like Reddit and Telegram.


“Georgians better be ready to lock and load. When the counting stalls, patriots need to surround the counting centers and force the DHS or feds to intervene. If it gets violent, shoot first,” one member of The Donald wrote on Tuesday.

In many of the cases, the threats of violence came in direct response to Trump’s own posts on Truth Social.

At 2:28 p.m. Tuesday, hours before polls closed, Trump started boosting baseless allegations about widespread issues with voting in Detroit, urging his followers to ”protest, protest, protest,” in a post on Truth Social.

Five minutes later, at 2:33 p.m., a user of the rabidly pro-Trump message board The Donald, posted a screenshot of the Truth Social post claiming that the former president had given his supporters their “marching orders.”

The post was instantly pinned to the top of the message board, received over 3,600 upvotes, and was flooded with almost 300 comments. “Military tribunals with death penalty sentences for treasonous voter fraud. Swift justice,” one user wrote.

Minutes later, another replied: “Death penalty for all voter fraud.” A user calling themselves RedPillMAGALegend quickly replied: “I heart ‘shoot shoot shoot’ anyone else?”

Users commenting on the thread asked fellow users based in Michigan to “get out there” because Trump “never sends marching orders.”


In response to another thread on The Donald linking to another Trump post on Truth Social again spreading conspiracies about election fraud in Arizona, one user commented: “Fuck it, arm up. ” Someone else instantly responded: “Ok.”

Another user commented on the same thread: “Who would have guessed? Call for an armed march on DC.”

The instant and violent response to Trump’s repeated boosting of conspiracy theories about election fraud during Tuesday’s midterms will be a stark warning to those tracking potential threats to election officials and poll workers. In the weeks leading up to the vote, the U.S. government issued a chilling memo about the potential threat posed by domestic violent extremists like those who frequent dark corners of the internet.

“While it is unclear how many users online overall are making threats against voters or election officials, several of the users claim to have access to weapons and have consistently made threats against specific political figures,” Daniel J. Jones, president of Advance Democracy, told VICE News last week.

The failure of the so-called red wave to materialize on Tuesday coupled with multiple election-denying candidates refusing to concede defeat has raised the possibility of protests targeting election facilities.


Ali Alexander, the founder of the Stop the Steal movement, told his followers that he would organize a protest in Arizona describing the situation there in military terms, calling it “DEFCON 5.”

And the violent threats were not limited to The Donald. Posters on 4chan and the Telegram posted equally violent threats.

“I pledge if they claim that I will pull out my .45 and shoot the fucker in the head along with everyone else working. On this I pledge,” a 4chan users commented under a picture of Trump’s Truth Social posts.

In addition to the threats of violence inspired by Trump’s posts, Advance Democracy has identified dozens of users on The Donald and 4chan who have made general threats of violence related to the election results. They also found one post on Reddit advocating for violence, though the company said that “calls to violence are against our policies and our dedicated Safety teams are removing this content across the platform.”

“Nothing short of an AR-15 is going to stop what's happening in Detroit,” said one user on The Donald responding to a post about alleged irregularities in Detroit. The comment has received over 800 upvotes on the platform.

VICE News also identified threats of violence and calls for “civil war” on far-right Telegram channels incited by wildly conspiratorial allegations being spread by pillow salesman and election-denier extraordinaire Mike Lindell.

In response to Lindell claiming that “another race being [was] stolen in the middle of the night” one Telegram user responded that “civil war” was inevitable.

They then added: “When the people who hold the power to change and fix the vote are the very people cheating, they will NEVER fix it. The only solution in that instance is to just shoot them in the head. Sad to say. All power comes from the threat of violence.”

Another user responding to Lindell’s post wrote: “Fuck a civil war, kill just the politicians and beaurocrats [sic].”