The commission of the House of Representatives of the United States Congress investigating the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, issued several subpoenas for Meta, the parent company of Facebook; Alphabet, parent of YouTube; as well as Twitter and Reddit deliver documents on the actions they implemented to prevent the invasion of the headquarters of the US Congress.
Democrat Bennie Thompson, who heads the commission, said the subpoenas were issued after the companies sent “inappropriate responses” after requesting the documents a year ago.
The commission investigating the assault on the Capitol is based on the hypothesis that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Reddit did not do enough to prevent the assault on the headquarters of Congress, perpetrated by supporters of former President Donald Trump.
According to the investigation, the platforms would have been bypassed to eliminate messages of disinformation and extremism that contributed to the assault on the Capitol. Rather, it suggests that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Reddit were something of a breeding ground for the insurrection.
The issuance of the subpoenas coincides with the arrest of far-right leader Elmer Stewart Rhodes, founder of the Oath Keepers group. Rhodes is accused of sedition (a crime that consists of calling for insurrection to overthrow a government) and is considered one of the intellectual authors of the taking of the Capitol.