Twitter and Facebook parent Meta among companies subpoenaed in Jan. 6 riot probe

January 13, 2022, 9:50 PM UTC

Facebook parent Meta Platforms, Twitter, Alphabet’s YouTube and Reddit are being subpoenaed to turn over posts, videos and other material to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the panel’s chairman announced Thursday.

In letters released Thursday, committee Chair Bennie Thompson, said companies provided “inadequate responses” to requests in August to voluntarily turn material from users and internal documents related to efforts to overturn the 2020 elections. Also sought were internal reviews, data and communications about posts signaling acts by domestic violent extremists or foreign actors.

The companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

The requested material is part of a wide net for information being sought by the committee on how a rally organized to support former President Donald Trump’s false claims about the 2020 presidential election resulted in a mob storming the Capitol.

“Two key questions for the Select Committee are how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism contributed to the violent attack on our democracy, and what steps—if any—social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence,” Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said in a statement.

Letters explaining the subpoenas were sent to Sundar Pichai, chief executive officer of Alphabet, Mark Zuckerberg chief executive officer of Meta, Steven Huffman, CEO of Reddit; and Parag Agrawal chief executive of Twitter.

Thompson set Jan. 27 as a deadline for production of the material sought.

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