As GOP Plays Up Censorship Allegations, House Subpoenas Big Tech CEOs

As GOP Plays Up Censorship Allegations, House Subpoenas Big Tech CEOs
Ohio State Rep. Jim Jordan and Judiciary Committee Chairman sent notice to several CEOs of major tech companies. © Anna Rose Leyden/Bloomberg Rep. Jim Jordan, chairman of the Ohio Judiciary Committee, sent notices to several senior tech executives.

House Republicans are calling on big tech companies to release documents about their ties to the Biden administration over online content moderation , stepping up to accuse Silicon Valley and Democrats of engaging in a broad conspiracy against conservative opinions.

Big Tech with the federal government's "betrayal" of the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Meta and Microsoft, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Wednesday. Suppression of free speech." (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Conservatives have argued for several years, often based on anecdotal evidence, that social media companies "censor" conservative views online and favor Democrats. Last week, the Republican-led House of Representatives held hearings with former Twitter executives on the social network's decision to briefly block a New York Post article about Hunter Biden.

Republicans have been speculating for years, though former executives have denied reports that the tech company is colluding with Democrats.

GOP lawmakers allege massive tech conspiracy, though former Twitter staffers deny

Social media companies are regularly criticized by both sides for their handling of high-profile incidents and spreading false information online. Democrats often defend corporate decisions to remove potentially harmful information and urge companies to be more proactive, while Republicans accuse companies of restricting free speech.

Twitter was not on Jordan's agenda on Wednesday. The social network is currently led by Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has publicly expressed sympathy for conservative views and expressed concern about "crackdowns on free speech" online.

Congressional subpoenas targeting tech companies are relatively rare. Former Twitter executives have been subpoenaed to testify at their request. A Democratic-led House committee has subpoenaed several tech companies tied to election disinformation as they investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Representatives of "Microsoft" and "Meta" companies said that the two companies have begun to prepare materials for the committee. Amazon declined to comment. Apple and Alphabet did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Kat Zakrewski contributed to this report.

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