Jan 6 committee summons tech giants after ‘inadequate responses’

house committee Reddit, Twitter and the parent companies of Google and Facebook, which are investigating the January 6 riots in the US Capitol, were summoned on Thursday after their “inadequate responses”. request for information What they did and didn’t do in the lead up to the deadly attack.

“It’s disappointing that even after months of engagement, we don’t have the necessary documentation and information to answer those basic questions,” committee chair Benny Thompson, D-Miss, said in a statement. “The selection committee is working to get answers for the American people and help make sure nothing like January 6th ever happens again. We can’t let our important work get delayed any longer.”

In a letter to Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s parent company, Meta, failed to provide information about its decision to dissolve its civil integrity team, “which poses risks of elections, including misinformation.” was focused on.”

“Additionally, in providing critical internal and external analysis conducted by the Company regarding the misinformation, disinformation, and misinformation related to the META 2020 election, attempts to challenge or reverse the election, and the use of META by domestic violent extremists. has failed. 2020 election,” the letter said.

Meta spokesman Andy Stone responded in a statement, “As President Thompson recently said, ‘Facebook is working with [the committee] To provide the necessary information requested by us.’ Since then, META has submitted documents to the Committee on Schedule Committee staffing as requested – and we will continue to do so.”

The panel also sent a letter to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and YouTube’s parent company, Alphabet, stating, “The selection committee believes that Alphabet has significant undisclosed information that is critical to its investigation.” , about how Alphabet was developed, implemented, and reviewed. Content moderation, algorithmic promotion, monetization, and other policies that may affect the events of January 6, 2021.”

“As of today, YouTube remains a platform on which user videos spread misinformation about elections,” the committee said.

In a statement, Google said: “We are cooperating actively with the Select Committee as they begin their investigation, adequately respond to their requests for documents, and work with Congress through this process.” We have strict policies prohibiting content that incites violence or undermines trust in elections in YouTube and Google products, and we have implemented these policies as of January 6th, and today has continued to do so.”

The letter to Reddit CEO Steven Huffman asked for more information about “subreddits” involving former President Donald Trump, and a letter to Twitter CEO Parag Agarwal said the company was violent about its decision to suspend Trump. Failed to turn on warnings received about threats and documentation. Cause.

“We have received the summons and will continue to work with the committee on their request,” a Reddit spokesperson said.

Twitter declined to comment.

panel first Records requested In August, four companies and others are seeking information related to “the spread of misinformation, attempts to reverse the 2020 election or prevent authentication of results, domestic violent extremism and foreign influence in the 2020 election.”

The committee also sought details of policy changes adopted by companies “or failed to adopt” regarding the spread of violent extremism, misinformation and foreign lethal influence. This included “decisions on banning content from the platform and contact with law enforcement and other government entities,” the panel said in a news release in August.

The committee is seeking information about the spring of 2020.

Review of various social media sources by NBC News Hundreds of posts were shown discussing plans to visit the Capitol before January 6, including a map of the building and how to create a stampede that overwhelmed Capitol police.

FBI officials have acknowledged that there were calls for violence at the January 6 “Stop the Steel” rally by Trump supporters, which was held just before the Capitol attack, but they have said the call was based on specific, credible intelligence. information was not included.

FBI director testifying before a Senate committee in March Christopher Ray suggested that the amount of online vitriol becomes difficult to reconcile.

“The amount of anger, hateful, unspeakable, belligerent, violent, even rhetoric on social media exceeds anyone’s worst imagination. [thinks] out there,” he told the Senate Judiciary Committee.