Extremists and Illicit Actors Use TikTok to Facilitate Operations
In the wake of recent federal indictment of alleged “boogaloo” movement members, Flashpoint analysts have identified proponents of the movement who are active on TikTok. Various extremist communities are operating and uploading videos on TikTok, in addition to individuals posting instructions on how to commit credit card fraud.
Analysts assess with moderate to high confidence that illicit communities and far-right extremists will likely continue operating on TikTok to reach a broader audience to proliferate fraud schemes and appeal to a younger demographic in ways that are not available on traditional chat services and online forums.
Utilizing TikTok for Credit Card Fraud:
Individuals attempting to commit credit card fraud (“carding”) and instructing others on how to do so also operate on TikTok. Many users do not attempt to conceal their identity, which makes TikTok unique from Telegram or Discord carding channels.
On May 25, 2020, a TikTok user demonstrated that they were able to get stolen credit cards. Later, that user displayed new shoes and physical credit cards that they acquired.
On March 29, 2020, a TikTok user advertised credit cards for sale. They did not attempt to conceal their face (redacted by Flashpoint).
Boogaloo Movement Activity on TikTok:
Analysts identified some proponents of the boogaloo movement active on TikTok. While at first glance most of the videos appear light-hearted—playing children’s music or making jokes to seem less threatening—they all express a desire to take up arms in the event of a civil war or a perceived increase in government tyranny. TikTok users are unable to search for some boogaloo-related hashtags, but the videos featuring these hashtags have not been removed from the platform.
On May 30, a TikTok user made a video justifying the boogaloo movement.
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