House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) may soon hold Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress for not providing internal communications regarding the company’s censorship efforts.
That’s according to Fox Business, which cites sources with direct knowledge to report that the move could come as early as next week.
Documents requested from Meta include “internal meeting notes or discussions of government statements, requests, referrals, or recommendations related to content moderation, including certain documents commemorating findings and/or recommendations regarding whether to apply enforcement actions to purported disinformation,” the business network reported.
Jordan appeared Monday evening on Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle” to discuss holding Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress:
Jordan says he’s considering holding Zuckerberg in contempt of Congress pic.twitter.com/q4pnoyldKe
— Acyn (@Acyn) July 17, 2023
The GOP-led Judiciary Committee officially issued Meta a subpoena for censorship documentation in February of this year and Jordan warned the company in May that its response was insufficient.
“Meta’s rolling productions to date have not included material the Committee knows is, or has reason to believe may be, in the company’s possession and that is responsive to the subpoena […] If Meta fails to comply in full with the subpoena’s demands, the Committee may be forced to consider the use of one or more enforcement mechanisms,” Jordan wrote at the time.
A Meta spokesperson told Fox Business: “We have shared over 50,000 pages of documents in response to the committee’s request and have made nearly a dozen current and former employees available to discuss external and internal issues. We look forward to continuing to work with the committee moving forward.”
Citing sources, the business network said none of the documents provided include the specified internal communications Jordan is asking for.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) July 18, 2023
With Zuckerberg’s highly publicized rollout of “Threads,” an app meant to compete with Twitter that critics have characterized as a “copy cat” platform, Jordan sent a separate letter to Zuckerberg on Monday expressing concern about censorship on the new app.
“Since the Committee’s subpoena to Meta, we have obtained additional evidence that the federal government has coerced or colluded with technology, social media, and other companies to moderate content online,” he wrote. “These examples reinforce the Committee’s serious concerns about whether the Executive Branch is engaging in censorship by proxy—using surrogates to censor, suppress, or discourage speech in a manner that the government is unable to do itself.”
“Given that Meta has censored First Amendment-protected speech as a result of government agencies’ requests and demands in the past, the Committee is concerned about potential First Amendment violations that have occurred or will occur on the Threads platform,” Jordan added. “Indeed, Threads raises serious, specific concerns because it has been marketed as rival of Elon Musk’s Twitter, which has faced political persecution from the Biden Administration following Musk’s commitment to free speech.”
Is Mark Zuckerberg’s “Threads” already working with the federal government to censor Americans? pic.twitter.com/OdQeq1mCHQ
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) July 17, 2023
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