The Boogaloo Ballad Of Henry Graves

Disinformation and Online Radicalization in the Age of COVID-19

Misinformation and disinformation play a key role in the appeal of ‘boogaloo’ anti-government extremist groups. Conspiracy theories about local, state, and federal governments coming to “take your guns” or control local populations in other ways play a role in the appeal of the boogaloo scene. Anti-government extremism in the US was already increasing before COVID-19, but the pandemic has accelerated the circulation of anti-government conspiracy theories, disinformation and propaganda. There is an urgent need to develop a better understanding of online radicalization, and to create new avenues to connect with those at risk.

Henry Graves at his computer
Henry Graves at his computer

With that in mind, the Bertelsmann Foundation and American University’s Polarization and Extremism Research and Innovation Lab (PERIL) bring you this animated short to tell this important story through the eyes of our eponymous Henry Graves. This animation is part of the Foundation’s Disrupting Democracy project, and serves as a companion piece to our upcoming feature length documentary Uncivil War.

This animation is part of the Bertelsmann Foundation’s collection of educational videos focused on critical issues in the United States and the European Union.

To accompany this animation, we have created an education guide for use in secondary schools and university courses. Educators can use this to guide discussion and spark debate after viewing the video. Click here to download.