Jan. 6 Committee subpoenas social media companies
The US congressional committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol issued subpoenas to tech giants: Alphabet, Meta, Reddit, and Twitter.
The Jan. 6 Select Committee issued subpoenas to four social media companies in connection with its investigation into the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol and its causes.
Silicon Valley under fire
The Select Committee is requesting records from Alphabet, Meta, Reddit, and Twitter relating to the spread of misinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election, domestic violent extremism, and foreign influence in the 2020 election.
According to the Committee, Alphabet's YouTube served as a platform for communicating the Jan. 6 attack's plans, including live streams as they occurred.
Meta's social media platforms, most notably Facebook, were allegedly used to spread election conspiracy theories, coordinate the Stop the Steal movement, and spread hate and violent messages.
A Reddit community called "r/The Donald" gained traction before migrating in 2020 to the website TheDonald.win, which hosted "significant discussion and planning" for the insurgency, according to the Committee.
The panel noted in a release that Twitter was also used to communicate plans and amplify allegations of election fraud, "including by the former President himself." According to reports, the company was warned that its users were using the platform to plan potential violence ahead of January 6.
According to the committee, the subpoena was issued in response to "inadequate responses" to previous requests for information.
On her account, Committee chair Bennie Thompson said in a statement that “two key questions for the Select Committee are how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism contributed to the violent attack on our democracy, and what steps — if any — social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence."
"It’s disappointing that after months of engagement, we still do not have the documents and information necessary to answer those basic questions ... We cannot allow our important work to be delayed any further," Thompson added.
A Google spokesperson commented on the issue by saying, "We’ve been actively cooperating with the Select Committee since they started their investigation ... and are committed to working with Congress through this process,” Axios reported.
On its account, Meta spokesperson told Axios that the company “has produced documents to the committee on a schedule committee staff requested — and we will continue to do so.”
"We received the subpoena and will continue to work with the committee on their requests," a Reddit spokesperson added.
Twitter did not respond to requests for comment.
Earlier, a committee in the US House of Representatives dedicated to investigating the January 6th attack on the US Capitol, issued six new subpoenas to former US President Advisers, accusing them of plotting to influence the outcome of the presidential election.