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Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Reddit have been summoned by the January 6 panel


Facebook, Google, Twitter and Reddit were summoned by a select committee in Congress investigating the January 6 mutiny at the US Capitol. The committee said in a statement that the companies’ responses so far were “insufficient”.

“Two key questions for the Select Committee are how the spread of disinformation and violent extremism has contributed to the violent attack on our democracy, and what steps – if any – have social media companies taken to prevent their platforms from being fertile ground for people’s radicalization to violence,” said the Committee Chair Benny Thompson (D-MS).

“It is disappointing that, after months of engagement, we still lack the documentation and information to answer these basic questions. The Select Committee is working to get answers to the American people and help ensure that something like January 6th never happens again. We cannot allow that Our important work is being delayed even further.”

The commission is looking for a set of records relating to users’ activity on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Reddit, as well as internal documents about the companies’ Jan. As a condition of these new subpoenas, all companies were given a January 27 deadline to submit documents to the commission.

In a letter to Mark Zuckerberg, Thompson addresses Facebook’s handling of the “Stop Theft” movement that has been organized on its platform. An internal memo detailed how Facebook failed to recognize the danger posed by groups even after the January 6 violence. The letter also refers to testimony from whistleblower Frances Hogan, who told Congress last year that Facebook had dissolved its Civic Integrity Team after the election.

In a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Thompson said the select committee “believes that Alphabet has significant undisclosed information that is critical to its investigation, regarding how Alphabet develops, implements and reviews content management, algorithmic merchandising, demonization and other policies.” that may have influenced the events of January 6, 2021.” He noted that some rioters broadcast the attack on YouTube and that misinformation about the elections is spreading on the platform “to this day.”

Thompson’s letter to Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal notes that Jack Dorsey testified that Twitter played a role in the events of January 6. “Twitter’s failure to fully comply or even adhere to a timeline to comply with the request of the Select Committee for Internal Company Analytics of disinformation, disinformation and disinformation related to the 2020 election, efforts to challenge or nullify elections, use of Twitter by domestic violent extremists or foreign malicious influences to influence elections 2020,” Thompson wrote.

To Reddit, the committee appears to be primarily interested in the r/The_Donald subreddit, which was banned in June of 2020, as well as r/donaldtrump, which launched on January 8, 2021. The message states that the r/The_Donald community has migrated to TheDonald .win, as there has been “a great deal of discussion and planning online” related to the insurgency.

A Twitter spokesperson declined to comment on the subpoena. Meta, Reddit, and Google representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Update 1/13 7:50 PM ET: in the current situationAnd A Google spokesperson said the company was “committed to working with Congress through this process.” “We have strict policies that prohibit content that incites violence or undermines trust in elections across YouTube and Google products, and we implemented these policies in the lead up to January 6 and continue to do so today.”

Update 1/13 8:22 PM ET: As Chairman Thompson said recently, Facebook is working with [the committee] “To provide the necessary information we have requested,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. “Since then, Meta has submitted documents to the commission on the schedule requested by the commission – and we will continue to do so.”

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