Jim Jordan demands information on alleged “collusion” between Big Tech and the Biden administration

US Rep. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, discusses the investigation into the Biden family’s business dealings while facing reporters with fellow House Republicans during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol in Washington November 17, 2022.

Evelyn Hockstein Reuters

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, the senior member of the House Judiciary Committee who is expected to chair the panel next year when Republicans take control of the chamber, previewed his approach to big tech with letters to CEOs from Apple, Amazon, alphabet, Meta Spirit Microsoft.

In Wednesday’s letters, Jordan requested information about what he called “the nature and extent of your companies’ collusion with the Biden administration.”

In the letters to tech CEOs, Jordan recalled documents and communications made through January 2020 between employees and contractors of the companies and anyone associated with the government’s executive branch regarding “moderation, deletion, suppression, restriction or reduced.” Dissemination of Content” back.”

He also asked for a list of the names of individuals within the companies who are or have been responsible for developing content moderation policies, as well as third-party groups, companies, or individuals who support the company’s content moderation policies content consulted. Jordan requested the documents by 5:00 p.m. Jan. 12 and said the letter was also a formal request to retain existing and future records on these issues.

Jordan has been one of the loudest voices criticizing big tech firms for allegedly censoring conservative voices online. Therefore him cheered Purchase decision of billionaire Elon Musk Twitter, since Musk proclaimed himself a free speech absolutist and sided with many conservatives who complained about too much moderation in their views. Still, even Musk has removed content from the site he now owns, most recently banning an account that tracked his jet even after promising not to do so.

Mainstream tech companies have repeatedly dismissed claims of bias and insisted they enforce their community guidelines according to their policies. Independent reviews have found that right-wing voices still often dominate and drive online discussion.

While hearings on alleged censorship on tech platforms have taken a back seat while Democrats held the hammers in both houses of Congress, Jordan’s letters suggest they are likely to come back into focus under Republican control of the House of Representatives.

However, successful legislation that weakens legal liability protections for tech companies for content moderation still seems unlikely as Democrats retain control of the Senate, as both sides have wildly different ideas about how this law should be changed. Still, some upcoming Supreme Court cases involving this Section 230 bill next year have the potential to change the calculus in Congress when dealing with the secondary ramifications of a decision.

Meta and Microsoft declined to comment. The three other companies that Jordan included in the letter and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Correction: Jordan requested the documents by 5:00 p.m. on 12/29. In an earlier version, the date was incorrectly given.

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