Letter: If the FBI Is Going to Investigate Parler, Twitter and Facebook Deserve the Same

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Posted: Jan 25, 2021 10:35 AM
Letter: If the FBI Is Going to Investigate Parler, Twitter and Facebook Deserve the Same

Source: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Republican Congressmen James Comer and Gregory Steube sent a letter to House Oversight and Government Reform Chairwoman Caroline Maloney Monday, pointing out discrepancies in her demands that Parler be investigated for an alleged role in the Capitol riot on January 6. 

"We write regarding your letter to FBI Director Christopher Wray requesting an FBI 'examination' of the social media site Parler and any role it may have played in the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building. Like you, we were disturbed and angered by the riot and we believe those responsible should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But casting blame on a single social media company know for its conservative userbase while simply ignoring other social media companies known for sympathizing with liberal causes is blatantly and overtly partisan. Moreover, your letter is additional evidence of the growing alliance between Big Tech and Democrats to muzzle certain viewpoints, opinions, and perspectives," the letter states. "Rather than limiting its investigation to Parler, then, perhaps the Committee should include Facebook and other social media companies in its request for an investigation into the antecedents of the January 6 Capitol riot." 

"Though your letter highlights several examples of disturbing, malignant posts made by extremists on Parler, it conveniently ignores messages sent on Facebook instructing people to 'seal...in' Members of Congress in the tunnels below the Capitol and to 'turn [the] gas on' -- horrendous tactics reminiscent of humanity's darkest time. In one of the only conspiracy cases charged thus far stemming from the January 6 riot, the underlying facts show weeks fusing Facebook to plan for the January 6 event," it continues. "A search of Twitter immediately after the riot found that accounts related to the QAnon conspiracy theory had referred to the January 6 date roughly 20,800 times prior to the attacks...both Facebook and Twitter appear to have profited off of the January 6 riot, as 'political turmoil drives increased engagement on social media'...that generates more revenue for Facebook and Twitter."

Meanwhile, Parler is in a legal battle with Amazon after the company canceled the site's web hosting service.