The House Jan. 6 committee on Thursday issued subpoenas against YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit, ramping up pressure after the platforms “inadequately responded to prior requests for information.”
The panel asked for documents and testimony from social media companies as it investigates “how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism fuels violent attacks on our democracy” and what those companies are doing “to prevent their platforms from becoming a breeding ground for People radicalized into violence.”
“It’s disappointing that after months of engagement, we still don’t have the documentation and information we need to answer these fundamental questions,” the Rep. said. Benny G Thompson, Mississippi Democratic Party and committee chair.
The four companies were named in the committee’s sweeping request for documents in late August. The committee targets tech platforms including Snapchat, Telegram and Tik-Tok, as well as lesser-known groups such as 4chan and 8kun.
The snub from social media companies has added to mounting resistance as the committee tries to spar with key witnesses.
In a letter to YouTube parent Alphabet on Thursday, the group said the video-sharing app “is an important communication platform for its users in connection with the planning and execution of the Capitol attack.”
The commission said Facebook was used to “share hateful, violent and inflammatory messages” and to spread conspiracy theories surrounding the election.
The group also followed a Reddit thread “r/The_Donnald” that the group said “hosted important discussions and planning related to the Capitol attack.” The thread eventually migrated to TheDonald.win.
Lawmakers said Twitter users used the platform “to communicate about the planning and execution of the attack on the U.S. Capitol” and to promote an election fraud conspiracy, including one proposed by former President Donald Trump.
The group also said Twitter had been “warned of potential violence planned on the site by January 6.”
Democrat-led panel continues to face objections from witnesses, they say committee has surpassed its boundaries.
Several people, including Trump insiders and those outside his circle, have sued committee Exceeds its requirements for phone records.
Three Republican lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, rejected committeeA formal request to participate in the investigation.
Republicans argue that the Democratic-led group weaponized the Jan. 6 incident, saying committee as a political tool against conservatives.
Democrats insist the sole purpose of the investigation is to uncover the truth that led to the unrest in the Capitol to ensure something like this never happens again.
“This select committee Working hard to find answers for the American people and help ensure that something like January 6 never happens again. ” Thompson Say. “We cannot allow our important work to be delayed any longer.”
This committee Nearly 350 witnesses were interviewed and nearly 60 subpoenas issued.