The House committee probing the Jan. 6 riots is demanding over a dozen social media companies hand over extensive records related to the events at the Capitol.
The Select Committee investigating the Capitol riot sent letters dated Aug. 26 to Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and Reddit, along with Parler, TikTok, 4chan and seven other social media platforms asking them to provide all documents, data and other information related to the Capitol riot since April 2020.
The committee requested documents concerning “misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation relating to the 2020 election,” efforts to overturn the election, “domestic violent extremists,” and foreign influence. The committee also asked for internal documents and communications on how the social media companies’ algorithms may have contributed to the events at the Capitol.
“The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is examining the facts, circumstances, and causes of the attack and relating to the peaceful transfer of power, in order to identify and evaluate lessons learned and to recommend corrective laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations,” Rep. Bennie Thompson, the committee’s chair, said in a statement.
The social media companies were also asked to provide insight into their content moderation policies, as well as a list of all content removed, labeled, or deprioritized related to the riots, according to the letters. The committee asked for records of communication with law enforcement officials, and made several other information requests.
Several tech companies indicated they were open to the committee’s request.
“We have received the Select Committee’s letter and are committed to working with Congress on this,” a Google spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The events of January 6 were unprecedented and tragic, and Google and YouTube strongly condemn them. We’re committed to protecting our platforms from abuse, including by rigorously enforcing our policies for content related to the events of January 6.”
“We have received the request and look forward to continuing to work with the committee,” a Facebook company spokesperson told the DCNF.
The companies have two weeks to respond, according to the letters.
The committee had requested communications records involving over 100 officials and Trump presidential campaign employees from the National Archives on Wednesday. The records request explicitly named former President Donald Trump and several of his family members, as well as high-ranking Trump administration officials.
The letters to the social media platforms come just a week after the FBI announced they had found little evidence that those who broke into the Capitol had “serious plans” to stage an insurrection.