Ever since the mob of Trump supporters violently entered the U.S. Capitol building, word choice has taken center stage.
First, they were called “protesters.” Then, critics adamantly identified the members of the crowd as “rioters” and “insurrectionists.”
Some went even further, calling them a disorganized cabal of “domestic terrorists.”
And accusations of terrorism inevitably invite speculation about no fly lists. As in, when all those rioters were finally shooed out of the Capitol—there were no arrests on the scene—did they have trouble boarding a plane home?
The largest flight attendant unions asked for the rioters to be banned from flights.
Flight attendant union says Capitol rioters should be banned from flights home https://t.co/40hzLoLe8W
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) January 7, 2021
After all, if they were willing to assault police and storm the Capitol, how could flight attendants be expected to control them on a flight?
But whether or not the unions’ request was granted is unknown. But that didn’t stop people from making #NoFlyList trend on social media.
Suddenly every video of people kicked off flights were getting the hashtag. A viral TikTok video of a man sobbing and screaming at his gate in the airport got labeled a result of the no fly list.
@heartlessbeechHomeboy had a full toddler level meltdown bc he was told to wear a mask 🥱#fyp♬ original sound – Lizard King
Although the caption stated he was booted off the flight because he refused to wear a mask, he was seen with a mask in the video, albeit under his mouth.
The true motive was made even more confusing by the comments he shouted:
“This is what they do to us! They kicked me off this plane!”
“They called me a f’king terrorist and they wanna f’king ruin my life!”
Not surprisingly, comments on the TikTok video were excited by what looked like evidence Capitol rioters were being kicked off planes.
So when that TikTok video made its way over to Twitter in the form of multiple re-posts, the no-fly conclusion had some traction.
— a sister from the chi (@sister_chi) January 10, 2021
Trump supporting Capitol rioter finds out he’s on the no fly list 😆💀✌🏽 pic.twitter.com/3vC2OXoARE
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) January 11, 2021