The House Select Committee, appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to investigate the events of January, 6, 2021, claims social media companies provided inadequate answers when it requested documentation last August.
Now, it is demanding more from these companies.
On Thursday, the committee announced that it had subpoenaed four social media companies as a part of its investigation. The committee accused the four companies, Google's Alphabet, Facebook's Meta, Twitter, and Reddit, of providing “inadequate responses to prior requests for information.”
“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,” Committee Chair Bennie Thompson said.
“It's disappointing that after months of engagement, we still do not have the documents and information necessary to answer those basic questions,” he continued.
In a press release, the committee outlined what it requires from each of these companies, based on how each platform was allegedly used in the planning of the riot at the US Capitol:
“Alphabet's YouTube was a platform for significant communications by its users that were relevant to the planning and execution of January 6th attack on the United States Capitol, including livestreams of the attack as it was taking place.
Meta platforms were reportedly used to share messages of hatred, violence, and incitement; to spread misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories around the election; and to coordinate or attempt to coordinate the Stop the Steal movement. Public accounts about Facebook's Civic Integrity Team indicate that Facebook has documents that are critical to the Select Committee's investigation.
Reddit was the platform for the “r/The_Donald” ‘subreddit' community that grew significantly on Reddit before migrating to the website TheDonald.win in 2020, which ultimately hosted significant discussion and planning related to the January 6th attack.
Twitter subscribers reportedly used the platform for communications regarding the planning and execution of the assault on the United States Capitol, and Twitter was reportedly warned about potential violence being planned on the site in advance of January 6th. Twitter users also engaged in communications amplifying allegations of election fraud, including by the former President himself.”
The companies were given up to January 27, 2022, to respond.