Facebook, Google, Twitter and Reddit subpoenaed by the Jan 6 committee

Deepak Gupta January 13, 2022
Updated 2022/01/13 at 10:26 PM

Facebook, Google, Twitter and Reddit were by the select congressional committee investigating the January 6 insurrection at the United States Capitol. In a statement, the committee said the companies’ responses so far had been “inadequate.”

“Two key questions for the Select Committee are how the spread of disinformation and violent extremism contributed to the onslaught on our democracy, and what steps – if any – social media companies have taken to prevent their platforms from being fertile ground for radicalization. people to violence. ” said committee chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS).

“It is disappointing that, after months of engagement, we still don’t have the documents and information we need to answer these basic questions. The Select Committee is working to get answers for the American people and help ensure that nothing like January 6th happens again. We cannot allow our important work to be postponed.”

The committee is looking for a series of records related to user activity on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Reddit, as well as internal documents regarding the companies’ treatment on Jan. As a stipulation of these new subpoenas, all companies were given the January 27 deadline to deliver the documents to the committee.

Inside addressed to Mark Zuckerberg, Thompson addresses the way Facebook handled the “Stop the Steal” movement that was organized on its platform. An internal memo like Facebook did not recognize the danger posed by the groups until after the violence on January 6. The letter also references the testimony of whistleblower Frances Haugen, who told Congress last year that Facebook dissolved its civic integrity team after the election.

Inside To Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Thompson says the select committee “believes that Alphabet has material undisclosed information that is critical to its investigation, about how Alphabet developed, implemented and reviewed its content moderation, algorithmic promotion, demonetization and other policies that may have affected the events of January 6, 2021.” He notes that some protesters live-streamed the attack on YouTube, and that misinformation about the election spreads on the platform “to this day.”

Thompson to the newly installed CEO of Twitter, Parag Agrawal, notes that Jack Dorsey that Twitter played a role in the events of January 6th. “Twitter has failed to fully comply with or even commit to a timeline to comply with the Select Committee’s request for internal company reviews of disinformation, misinformation and misinformation related to the 2020 election, efforts to contest or nullify the election, and use of Twitter by domestic violent extremists or foreign malign influences to affect the 2020 election,” Thompson writes.

To Reddit, the committee seems primarily concerned with the subreddit r/The_Donald, which was banned in June 2020, as well as r/donaldtrump, which was kicked off the platform on January 8, 2021. that the r/The_Donald community migrated to TheDonald.win, where there was a “significant amount of online discussion and planning” related to the insurrection.

We reached out to Meta, Twitter, Reddit and Google for comment.

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