From sovereign citizens to QAnon: private messaging apps attract mixed bag of lockdown protesters

Anti-lockdown protest organisers have started using encrypted apps such as Telegram to spread the word. We took a peek inside.

lockdown protest
(Image: AAP/Scott Barbour)

John Farnham is unhappy with the fact that anti-lockdown protesters used his iconic anthem “You’re the Voice” as a part of a demonstration over the weekend, but the protesters and their online brethren seem unconcerned.

They are busy giving voice to all kinds of things, with debate about the Victorian lockdown continuing on Facebook and Twitter. Organisers of the protests have also started to use encrypted messaging apps such as Telegram to spread the word.

Far-left and far-right groups are increasingly migrating to forums such as Telegram so their conversations are less visible to outsiders. These encrypted applications ensure some degree of anonymity, so they can organise their activities without premature intervention from the police.

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