Meta’s newly launched app Threads is under investigation by the US House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), who asked Mark Zuckerberg to hand over content moderation documents. This investigation is part of the US House Judiciary’s ongoing investigation of Threads’ “policies and contacts as part of the panel’s ongoing investigation of tech platforms’ policies and contact with the Joe Biden administration,” reports CNBC.
Zuckerberg’s Threads is Twitter’s competitor. Elon Musk, Twitter’s owner, wants to reform the platform by promoting free speech. However, in a bid to make Twitter a free-speech medium, he has suspended multiple users. On the other hand, Twitter allows users to discuss news and politics on the platform—something Meta executives do not want on their application.
Adding to the matter, Jordan wrote, “Indeed, 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.” He referred to a Wall Street Journal article, which said that the Federal Trade Commission had asked Twitter to hand over internal communications about Musk and a list of journalists allowed access to the company’s records, raising concerns about Twitter’s ability to protect consumer details.
Jordan added that some reports claim that Threads will implement ‘Instagram’s community guidelines,’ which would put pressure on the platform from the government to moderate lawful speech. The US House Judiciary Chair also referred to a recent lawsuit against the Joe Biden government filed by Missouri and Louisiana’s attorneys general, which alleged that the federal government had censored speed through social media platforms to address what it felt were harmful posts related to the elections or the global pandemic.
On 4th July, a Louisana federal judge granted a part in a preliminary injunction that prevented several Biden administration officials from contacting social media companies and prompting them to delete posts. It also prohibited them from flagging certain posts that would encourage the companies to remove them.
According to a Washing Post employee, after the ruling, State Department canceled a regular meeting with Facebook about posts related to the 2024 election and hacking threats. On Friday, a court appeal agreed to temporarily pause the preliminary injunction, allowing the flagging of social media content until further ruling.
Jordan wrote that the 15th February subpoena, sent to Amazon, Apple, Meta, Microsoft, and Google, “is continuing in nature,” meaning Threads also had to adhere to it, despite being a new platform.