Twitter And Meta Required In Investigation Into Assault On The Capitol

WASHINGTON DC — Months after requesting documents from more than a dozen social media platforms, the House committee investigating the January 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol on Thursday issued subpoenas to Twitter, Meta, Reddit and YouTube, after lawmakers described the companies’ initial response as inadequate. The chairman of the panel, Democrat Bennie Thompson, demanded from the companies records related to their participation in the alleged spread of disinformation about the 2020 elections and the promotion of domestic extremism on their platforms before the insurrection of January 6, 2021. “The two key questions for the Select Commission are how the spread of disinformation and violent extremism contributed to the violent assault on our democracy, and what steps — if any — social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being used as hotbeds for radicalize people into violence,” Thompson said in his letter. He added that it is “disappointing that after months of involvement,” the companies have not voluntarily provided the necessary information and documents that would help lawmakers answer the questions at the heart of their investigation. In his letter, Thompson outlined how the companies were complicit in the insurgency carried out by supporters of then-President Donald Trump and far-right groups. Alphabet-owned YouTube was the platform where a significant amount of communication “relevant to the planning and execution” of the assault on Capitol Hill occurred, “including live broadcasts of the attack as it unfolded,” the letter noted. The commission highlighted how Meta, formerly known as Facebook, was allegedly used to exchange messages of hate, violence and incitement among its users, as well as to spread disinformation that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent for the purpose of coordinating the “Stop the Theft” movement. On Reddit, the “r/The_Donald” community grew significantly, the letter stated, before its members migrated to an official website where researchers believe discussions about the planning took place. The letter highlighted how Twitter was warned about potential violence being planned on its platform prior to the attack and how its users engaged in “communications that amplified allegations of voter fraud, including against the former president himself!” Connect with the ! Subscribe to our YouTube channel and turn on notifications, or follow us on on social networks: Facebook, Twitter

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