Committee says social media companies’ response to earlier requests for information was inadequate
“Two major questions for the select committee are how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism has contributed to the violent attack on our democracy, and how social media companies have prevented their platforms from becoming a breeding ground for radicalizing people to violence. What steps should be taken to address the issue,” the committee’s chair, Rep. Benny Thompson (D., Miss.), said in a statement. “It’s disappointing that even after months of engagement, we don’t have the necessary documentation and information to answer those basic questions.”
Twitter declined to comment. Representatives for other companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The committee said it is examining the role of social media platforms in efforts to reverse the 2020 election results and what companies may have learned about the spread of extremism in the lead up to January 6, 2021.
The committee’s latest round of summons comes a day after it asked House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California to volunteer information about his conversations with then-President Donald Trump before, during and after the riot. Mr McCarthy declined the request, saying it was politically motivated.
The panel is led by Mr. Thompson and Vice Chairman Liz Cheney (R., Vy.). The investigation is probing the causes and security failures of the January 6 attack on the Capitol, when Trump supporters stormed the building and temporarily obstructed authentication of Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential election victory.
The panel has sought records from several social media companies over the past several months. The committee has also contacted former Trump administration officials and aides for testimony or documents.
The panel also asked Reps Scott Perry (R., Pa.) and Jim Jordan (R., Ohio) to meet. Both rejected the committee’s request, saying the panel was illegitimate.
Write Alexa Corse at [email protected]