Republicans ramp up investigation into Twitter, Facebook on collusion with Biden admin to censor speech

EXCLUSIVE: House Oversight Republicans are demanding additional information from the heads of Twitter and Facebook as they investigate the extent to which Biden administration officials helped social media companies censor free speech on their platforms.

The lawmakers on Wednesday sent letters, first obtained by Fox News Digital, to new Twitter CEO Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Meta, formerly known as Facebook. Republicans led by Ranking Member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., and Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., allege that the Biden administration colluded with the Big Tech companies under the ‘guise’ of suppressing ‘misinformation’ in order to censor Americans.

‘Committee Republicans continue to investigate whether U.S. government officials have participated in suppression and censorship of lawful speech in violation of the U.S. Constitution. Reports continue to surface that social media companies acted on behest of government agencies and officials when removing, restricting, or disclaiming content,’ they wrote.

‘The American people and their elected representatives must know the extent to which their government has engaged in prohibited censorship to expose and prevent this unlawful conduct,’ they continued. ‘We request documents and communications from your company to assist our investigation and to uncover any unconstitutional actions by government officials or agents working on their behalf.’

The Republicans said the Constitution prohibits government officials from taking actions to limit protected free speech.

‘While private companies may choose to independently curate and moderate content based on their own independent policies, government action to pressure or direct a private company to suppress the speech of its citizens crosses a line,’ the letter said.

The lawmakers point to new reports that have surfaced, including new revelations in the ‘Twitter Files,’ detailing the work of government officials and social media platforms on speech censorship. Musk has been releasing information that indicates Twitter was working closely with the Biden administration before Musk acquired the company this year.

‘Whether working through the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, or other agencies, government officials should not tip the scale by urging social media platforms to disallow certain speech,’ Republicans wrote.

‘A bedrock principle of our democracy is free speech. The government, in concert with social media, should not tell Americans what they can and cannot say online. The Biden Administration’s penchant for censorship under the guise of suppressing ‘misinformation’ raises questions as to whether individuals within the Administration compelled companies such as Twitter and Facebook to censor Americans,’ they conclude.

The lawmakers are demanding by Dec. 28 all documents and communications related to efforts by government officials to flag online content for Twitter and Facebook.

Musk and Zuckerberg could not immediately be reached for comment on the letters.

The letters come as new editions of the ‘Twitter Files’ continue to be put out by Musk and Substack journalist Matt Taibbi, revealing that Twitter’s former head of safety, Yoel Roth, apparently attended weekly meetings with the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence about moderating misinformation ahead of the 2020 election.

Zuckerberg has previously admitted that his company censored news articles about the president’s son, Hunter, after the FBI reached out ahead of the 2020 election.

As a result, Sens. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., have called on Facebook to turn over communications between government agencies and Facebook employees regarding Hunter Biden.

In addition, Comer, House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan and House Committee on Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers have pushed new legislation that would expand the Hatch Act in order to stop Biden administration officials from using their official positions of power to influence social media companies’ censorship of speech.

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