Capitol attack: Investigative committee subpoenas Google, Facebook, Twitter and Reddit to testify

Platformers get their arms twisted. The parliamentary committee responsible for shedding light on the assault on the Capitol announced on Thursday assigned four social networks to testify in their investigation. Alphabet (parent company of YouTube), Meta (that of Facebook), Reddit and Twitter are targeted by these injunctions to appear.

The commission, whose role is to establish the responsibility of Donald Trump and his entourage for the assault on Congress by his supporters, indicated that these requests were launched after “insufficient responses” from the four groups to previous requests for collaboration.

Two questions are of particular interest to investigators: how the dissemination of false information contributed to this attack and what measures – if any – the social networks took to prevent their platforms to become breeding grounds for radicalization. “It is disappointing that after months of work, we still do not have the documents and information necessary to answer these fundamental questions,” lamented the chairman of the commission, Democrat Bennie Thompson.

Scrutinized private messages

Twitter, formerly the former president’s favorite social network, is of interest to the commission because of communications between subscribers “regarding the planning and execution of the assault on the Capitol” that allegedly took place on the platform. The social network, assure the investigators, would have been warned of the risk of violence before January 6.

YouTube is meanwhile targeted because of the videos that the demonstrators would have broadcast live on the platform during the assault. “We cannot allow our important work to be further delayed,” insisted elected official Bennie Thompson, inviting social networks to cooperate.

There is an urgent need: the commission is desperate to publish its findings before the midterm elections in November 2022. If the Democrats lose control of the House during the ballot, it may indeed be dissolved by the Republicans.