Jan. 6, 2006: A dangerous attack on online free speech It issued subpoenas to four major Big Tech companies — in the name of stopping “extremism.”
The House Jan.6 committee previously expressed an interest in criminalizing political opponents. Yet the committee does not seem to be interested in interrogating at least one apparent instigator of the “riot.” The committee has now turned to online platforms. The committee reportedly issued subpoenas to Twitter, Reddit, Alphabet (Google’s parent company), and Meta (Facebook’s parent company).
The companies were “unwilling to commit to voluntarily and expeditiously” provide the committee the information it asked to receive, The New York Times wrote. The panel slammed Facebook and Alphabet’s Google sister company YouTube for spreading alleged “misinformation and violent extremism,” and called the platforms “‘breeding grounds for radicalizing people to violence,’” according to The Times.
Letters from the committee panel reportedly called the events of Jan. 6, 2021, a “violent attack on our democracy’” (strange, considering the only people killed were protestors). While free-speech advocates may be inclined to support the subpoenas, considering how biased Big Tech itself is, the committee’s fixation on so-called “misinformation” raises red flags.
The committee’s Big Tech subpoenas seem to be the latest part of a biased political effort to target alternative voices online. Joe Biden, President of the United States, has called for increased online censorship (though it is not the first time that he does so). Other Democrats have also demanded more internet censorship in the last few months.
Yet, Twitter banned mRNA vaccine inventor Dr. Robert Malone for so-called COVID-19 “harmful information” while Chinese and Iranian government officials have tweeted violent, extremist content with impunity on the platform. Democrats demanded that Twitter ban Donald Trump in November 2020. The platform followed suit in January 2021. Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN), a Democratic Democrat, supported Orwellian online censorship for alternative COVID-19 narratives. This indicated that participation from the Jan.6 committee would make freedom of speech online more difficult than it was online.
MRC Free Speech America previously covered the dilemma of congressional tech reform. Conservatives must work with either liberal legislators who think Big Tech should increase its censorship, or with Big Tech. Subpoenas could be the latest example of this dilemma.
Conservatives under attack. Your representatives should be contacted to insist that Big Tech is held responsible. Tech giants must provide equal access for their users as the First Amendment allows. If you have been censored, contact us using CensorTrack’s Contact formPlease help us make Big Tech more accountable.