New release of VOST emails reveal depth of social media monitoring by authorities during August 12, 2017 Unite The Right rally...
Emails obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request reveal the depth of social media monitoring by government officials during the August 12, 2017 Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The monitoring was carried out by a little known group called VOST, or Virtual Operations Support Team, which is comprised of volunteers who report real-time intelligence gleaned from social media to officials. The team was activated by Albemarle County Emergency Management Coordinator Allison Farole.
In all, 23 emails were released in response to the request. The emails, dated between August 8, 2017 and August 15, 2017 offer valuable insight into how authorities gathered intelligence during this past summer's white nationalist events. Significant attention seemed to be given to both local journalists and multiple Left-leaning social justice and activist groups. There were significantly less emails released in relation to the Unite The Right rally as opposed to the large number released under a separate request related to the Ku Klux Klan rally which took place on July 8, 2017, also in Charlottesville. It is unclear why there was significantly less documentation for a seemingly higher profile event. The names of the VOST volunteers were redacted because they are not government employees, but rather ordinary citizen volunteers. Read the full trove of emails below.
In addition to the emails released in response to the request, the team used a collaborative Google document to share open source intelligence between the different members of the team and officials. Read the Google document in its entirety below.
Restoring the honor!