Committee Investigating Assault on Capitol Hill demands documents from technology companies

The committee of the United States House of Representatives that investigates the assault on the Capitol of January 6, 2021, demanded this Thursday to hand over documents to the technology companies Alphabet, Meta, Twitter, and Reddit.

The president of that commission, Democrat Bennie Thompson, explained in a statement that they have adopted this measure in the face of “the inadequate response” of these companies when they were asked for information about misinformation and the efforts to revoke the 2020 presidential elections in the United States. .

“We cannot allow our work to be delayed any longer,” warned Thompson, who explained that there are two “key” issues for the committee he leads.

One of them is how disinformation and violent extremism contributed to the assault on the seat of Congress, while the other is what measures those firms took to prevent their platforms from serving as a breeding ground for radicalizing people and inciting violence.

On January 6, 2021, a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump (2017-2021) stormed the Capitol when a joint session of the chambers was held to ratify the victory of the Democrat and now president, Joe Biden, in the November elections. previous.

Shortly before, Trump delivered a fiery speech from the White House, where he encouraged his supporters to march on Capitol Hill amid his baseless accusations that Democrats committed voter fraud in that vote.

Thompson explained that they have issued subpoenas to obtain documents from those companies because, in the case of Alphabet, its YouTube social network was “relevant” in planning and executing the assault on Capitol Hill, which included live broadcasts of the attack.

Regarding Facebook and Instagram, owned by Meta, they were used to share messages of “hate, violence, and incitement”; spread misinformation and conspiracy theories about the election and coordinate the Stop the Steal movement launched by Trump supporters to reverse the election result, the committee said.

In parallel, he added, Twitter and Reddit users used those social networks to plan and carry out the assault on the Capitol.

These summonses coincide with the arrest and indictment this Thursday of the leader of the American far-right formation Oath Keepers (the Guardians of the Oath), Elmer Stewart Rhodes III, accused of conspiring to sedition for having participated in the assault on the Capitol.

The Oath Keepers are a loose organization linked to citizen militias and, although they accept anyone as a member, they focus their recruitment efforts on ex-military, police, and first-aid personnel.

In addition to their leader, ten other members of the Oath Keepers, who live in various parts of the country, from Arizona to Ohio, were also charged with sedition.

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