Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Computer Science

First Advisor

Zimmer, Michael MZ

Second Advisor

Rubya, Sabirat S.

Third Advisor

Guha, Shion S.


The crowdsourced archiving that occurred in the wake of the January 6th US Capitol insurrection exemplifies the potential for agile, collaborative evidence gathering during a crisis situation. This paper studies the r/DataHoarders subcommunity of Reddit and the collective and spontaneous archiving project that users initiated. Users were drawn to the thread out of a desire to contribute to law enforcement efforts, enact punitive justice upon the rioters, engage in public discourse, and preserve information for posterity. They did this by gathering and preserving social media evidence that may have otherwise been lost. I discovered that this constituted a crowdsourced archive of potential legal and historical significance. This paper also overviews the ethical implications of related practices such as doxing and open-source intelligence gathering (OSINT).