The FBI’s search of former President Donald Trump’s residence inspired a flurry of online death threats directed at law enforcement personnel. Now, members of the House Oversight Committee want information from major social platforms, including the number of threats that have surfaced on their sites and what they’ve done in response. The Washington Postreported that lawmakers on Friday sent letters to eight different platforms, including Meta, Twitter, TikTok and the messaging app Telegram, as well as the right-wing leaning platforms Truth Social, Rumble and Gettr.
“The Committee is seeking to understand how your company responds when users post threats against law enforcement, how your company plans to prevent your platform from being used to incite violence against law enforcement personnel, and whether legislative reform is necessary to protect law enforcement personnel and increase coordination with federal authorities,” wrote House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) and House national security subcommittee Chairman Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA.) No Republicans signed on to the letter.
Earlier this month a man attempted to break into an FBI field office in Ohio, armed with a nail gun and rifle. The suspect was later shot by officers and pronounced dead at the scene. Media outlets later reported that the suspect posted numerous times about his plans on Trump-owned Truth Social in the days leading up to the attack. “We must not tolerate this one,” the suspect wrote in one post.
So far, only Gab has responded to the Post’s request for comment. CEO Andrew Torba sent the Post links to blog posts, one which mentioned it is still “considering” its request to Congress. Gab has ignored a prior request from Congress regarding posts related to the January 6th insurrection, claiming that it does not possess such information. A hacker later exfilterated data from millions of accounts on Gab, including many associated with prominent white supremacists and far-right extremists on the platform.” The House panel has given the companies until September 2nd to respond to the request.