House select committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) has served notice to executives at the top social media platforms to turn over relevant records of users' comments about overturning the 2020 presidential election as well as those expressing plans or strategies for the Jan 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Facebook, Google, Twitter, Parler, 4chan, Twitch, TikTok, and several other social media outlets have two weeks to respond to the request.
"The letters to the social media companies seek a range of records, including data, reports, analyses, and communications stretching back to spring of 2020," Thompson said in a statement on Friday. "The Select Committee is also seeking information on policy changes social media companies adopted—or failed to adopt—to address the spread of false information, violent extremism, and foreign malign influence, including decisions on banning material from platforms and contacts with law enforcement and other government entities."
Politico's Nicholas Wu reports, "Federal prosecutors have leaned on records obtained from social media companies to build criminal cases against hundreds of participants in the Jan. 6 riot. One company, in particular, Parler, was a hotbed of pre-insurrection activity. The site, popular among conservatives, was delisted from Apple and Google's app stores in the aftermath of the attack, and Amazon also ended its hosting service for the platform, " before adding, "The committee's new request underscores the breadth and urgency of its nascent investigation, which includes questions about former President Donald Trump's White House and its connection to the riots. The panel is also expected to send records requests to telecommunications companies asking them for phone records related to the attack, including those of members of Congress — a rare step that is already straining long-fractured relations on Capitol Hill."