Jim Jordan, the head of the House Judiciary Committee, has sent subpoenas to the leaders of the five biggest tech companies in the country, asking them to turn over documents and other information.
This is part of a larger effort by the GOP to look into ties between the Biden administration and Big Tech and look into claims of anti-conservative censorship.
In a statement, Jordan’s office said, “Congress has an important role to play in protecting and advancing fundamental free speech principles.” One way Congress can do this is by looking into how private actors work with the government to silence speech protected by the First Amendment. “Issuing subpoenas is the first step towards making Big Tech answerable.”
The subpoenas were sent to Mark Zuckerberg of Meta Platforms, Sundar Pichai of Alphabet, Tim Cook of Apple, Andy Jassy of Amazon, and Satya Nadella of Microsoft.
Facebook said in a statement, “We have already started making documents in response to the committee’s requests, and we will continue to do so in the future.”
Microsoft also said something similar. The company said, “We have started making documents, are working with the Committee, and are committed to working in good faith.”
Republicans have said for years that tech companies have shut down conservative views and voices or limited their reach on popular social media platforms to sway voters or tilt an election in one party’s favour.
Tech companies say their policies strike a balance between letting users express themselves freely and keeping hate, abuse, and false information off their platforms.
With the subpoenas, the Biden administration wants to know what they have done to try to change how these companies moderate their content.
Jordan asked for these papers last year, when the Democrats ran the House.
“Since December, the House Judiciary Committee has tried many times to talk to the five companies. “Unfortunately, the companies have not done enough to meet our requests,” Jordan said in the statement.
He is also in charge of the new House Select Subcommittee on Arming the Federal Government.