Hours after the Dept. of Justice on Thursday filed charges of seditious conspiracy against eleven individuals, the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack issued subpoenas to the nation's top four big tech social media firms: Google (Alphabet's YouTube platform), Facebook (Meta), Twitter, and Reddit.
“Two key questions for the Select Committee are how the spread of misinformation and violent extremism contributed to the violent attack on our democracy," Chairman Bennie Thompson said in a statement, "and what steps—if any—social media companies took to prevent their platforms from being breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence."
"It’s disappointing that after months of engagement, we still do not have the documents and information necessary to answer those basic questions. The Select Committee is working to get answers for the American people and help ensure nothing like January 6th ever happens again. We cannot allow our important work to be delayed any further.”
Thompson's press release goes on to explain that "Alphabet’s YouTube was a platform for significant communications by its users that were relevant to the planning and execution of January 6th attack on the United States Capitol, including livestreams of the attack as it was taking place."
Meta platforms were reportedly used to share messages of hatred, violence, and incitement; to spread misinformation, disinformation, and conspiracy theories around the election; and to coordinate or attempt to coordinate the Stop the Steal movement. Public accounts about Facebook’s Civic Integrity Team indicate that Facebook has documents that are critical to the Select Committee’s investigation.