A cease-and-desist letter from Twitter CEO Elon Musk is not the only threat facing Threads, a new Twitter clone launched earlier this year by Instagram and Facebook parent company Meta.
House Judiciary Committee Chair Jim Jordan (R-OH) confirmed this week that the new platform will face the same scrutiny as other Meta brands in the ongoing congressional probe into social media censorship.
His letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday came on the heels of a report that U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence agencies have been pressuring social media platforms, apparently including Threads, to remove certain posts.
Jordan’s panel has been engaged in a probe into claims of Meta censorship for months.
“Threads raises serious, specific concerns because it has been marketed as a rival of Elon Musk’s Twitter, which has faced political persecution from the Biden Administration following Musk’s commitment to free speech,” the Ohio Republican wrote in the most recent letter.
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
An initial subpoena sent in February requested relevant documents about censorship and Jordan followed up three months later with a letter asserting that Meta had not yet complied.
He wrote at the time: “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 has indicated that he could hold Zuckerburg in contempt of Congress if he refuses to hand over the requested information.
For its part, Meta released a statement asserting that the company has already “shared over 50,000 pages of documents in response to the committee’s request” and has “made nearly a dozen current and former employees available to discuss external and internal issues.”
Congressional sources insist, however, that the documents provided thus far are not sufficient to fulfill the scope of the subpoena.
In his most recent letter, Jordan asserted: “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.”