Jan. 6 committee subpoenas social networks after ‘inadequate’ responses

Facebook, Twitter and Google account for their role in spreading disinformation.

Brett Pierce/CNET

Deadly House Inquiry Committee January 6, Capitol Hill riots On Thursday, it said it had summoned Reddit, Twitter, the parent companies of Facebook and Google after receiving “insufficient responses” from the tech giants.

in August, Selection Committee He requested 15 tribunes of records “related to the spread of disinformation, efforts to overturn the 2020 election or prevent the certification of results, domestic violent extremism, and foreign influence in the 2020 election.” The committee is also looking at the steps social networks have taken to prevent their platforms from being a “breeding ground” for extremism.

“It is disappointing that after months of engagement, we still lack the documentation and information needed to answer these basic questions,” committee chair Penny Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, said in a statement.

In a letter to Facebook’s parent company Meta, Thompson cited news reports about how people used Meta platforms to spread misinformation, conspiracy theories, hate speech and violence prior to January 6, along with documents provided by former Facebook product manager-turned-informant Francis Hogan.

Facebook downplayed its role in the January 6 attack, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg told US lawmakers in March that he believed “the responsibility here lies with the people who took action to break the law and carry out the rebellion.”

Last week, an investigation by ProPublica and The Washington Post found evidence that Facebook played a “decisive role in spreading the lies that fueled the January 6 violence.” The media reported that at least 650,000 posts in Facebook groups attacked the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s presidential victory over Donald Trump, with many calling for political violence. Trump is scheduled to hold a rally on Saturday in Arizona.

A Reddit spokesperson said the company “has received the subpoena and will continue to work with the committee on their requests.” Meta and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Twitter declined to comment.

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