Mon. Jan 24th, 2022

Despite communicating for months, the panel said the platforms did not provide sufficient information.

The House of Representatives panel investigation the deadly riot on January 6, 2021 at the United States Capitol has sued the parent companies of Facebook, Google, Twitter and Reddit for information about how their platforms were used to spread misinformation in a failed attempt to reverse the 2020 election results .

The summonses are the latest issued in the congressional inquiry, which seeks to provide a clearer picture of the circumstances surrounding the storming of the seat of the American legislature and the played a role by former President Donald Trump to encourage the attack.

In a statement released Thursday, House Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said despite “months of involvement” with the technology goliaths, the companies did not provide sufficient information.

“Two key questions for the Select Committee are how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism has contributed to the violent attack on our democracy, and what steps – if any – have taken social media companies to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for the radicalization of people. to violence, ”Thompson said.

“We can not allow our important work to be further delayed.”

The companies have until January 27 to comply with the order.

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, said it had handed over documents to “a scheduled committee staff requested – and we will continue to do so”.

Google, meanwhile, said it was cooperating with the committee by “responding substantially to their requests for documents”.

“We have strict policies that prohibit content that incites violence or undermines trust in elections over YouTube and Google’s products, and we enforced these policies in the run-up to January 6 and will continue to do so today,” Google said.

Reddit said it would continue to work with the committee on their requests. Twitter declined to comment.

In August, the committee made its initial request for documents from 15 social media companies. That list also included TikTok, Parler, Telegram, 4chan and 8kun.

The investigation comes amid a wider debate on social media companies’ responsibility when it comes to policing misinformation on their websites, with critics saying initiatives, especially those undertaken by Facebook and Twitter, to be false or contagious labeling or removing content on their platforms has unfortunately happened. short.

All major social media sites ban Trump in the wake of the January 6 riot for his role in encouraging supporters to stop certifying President Joe Biden’s election victory.

To date, the House committee has interviewed more than 340 people and issued dozens of subpoenas to those in Trump’s inner circle, including his former chief of staff, as well as requests to their own colleagues in the House.

The committee requested an interview with House minority leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday.

However, McCarthy as well as Republican lawmakers Jim Jordan and Scott Perry quickly joined a long list of Trump allies who refused to sit for interviews with the committee or provide documents related to their discussions.

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