Twitter and Meta among tech giants subpoenaed by January 6 panel

WASHINGTON – Months after requesting documents from more than a dozen social platforms, the House committee investigating the Capitol insurrection issued subpoenas targeting Twitter, Meta, Reddit and YouTube after the Lawmakers said the companies’ initial responses were inadequate.

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Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson on Thursday asked the companies for documents regarding their role in allegedly spreading false information about the 2020 election and promoting domestic violent extremism on their platforms in the run-up to the uprising of January 6, 2021.

“Two key questions for the select committee are how the spread of disinformation and violent extremism has contributed to the violent assault on our democracy, and what steps – if any – social media companies have taken to prevent their platforms from being fertile ground for radicalizing people towards violence. “, said Thompson, D-Miss., in the letter.

He added that it is “disappointing that after months of engagement” the companies have not voluntarily turned over the necessary information and documents that would help lawmakers answer the questions at the heart of their investigation.

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In his letter, Thompson described how the companies were complicit in the deadly insurgency perpetuated by pro-Trump supporters and far-right groups.

YouTube, owned by Alphabet, was the platform where a significant amount of communications took place “relevant to the planning and execution” of the siege against the Capitol, “including live streams of the attack such as ‘it was unfolding,’ the letter read.

The committee said how Meta, formerly known as Facebook, was allegedly used to exchange hateful, violent and inciting messages between users as well as to spread misinformation that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent for the purpose to coordinate the “Stop the Steal” movement.

On Reddit, the “r/The_Donald” “subreddit” community grew significantly, the letter says, before members migrated to an official website where investigators believe discussions surrounding the planning of the attack took place. been accommodated.

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The letter explained how Twitter had been warned of the potential violence that was planned on its platform before the attack and how its users engaged in “communications amplifying allegations of voter fraud, including by the former president himself. same”.

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