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Twitter Fights Jan. 6 Committee's Effort to Get Internal Slack Messages, Report Says

It doesn't want to give lawmakers internal communications related to its moderation tweets about the attack on the US Capitol, according to Rolling Stone.

A fence with police tape sits outside the US Capitol on a cloudy, gray day
A US House select committee is investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack.
FrankvandenBergh/via Getty

Twitter is pushing back against an effort by the US House select committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack to get employees' internal communications related to the incident, Rolling Stone reported Tuesday. The messages the panel is seeking reportedly include Slack messages about moderating tweets about the attack.

The social media company is apparently asserting its First Amendment privilege to fight the panel's demand. Lawmakers think the internal messages would give them a better sense of how online extremism was linked to the Capitol riot.

The committee, which holds its first public hearing on Thursday, has been investigating the circumstances behind the riot and those who influenced the more than 800 people criminally charged in an attempt to stop Congress from certifying President Joe Biden's 2020 election win. 

"Since last year, we have had an ongoing, productive engagement with the Select Committee, and have provided appropriate, relevant information to contribute to this important investigation. We remain committed to continuing this work with the Select Committee," Twitter spokesperson Trenton Kennedy said in a statement emailed to CNET.

 "We take a principled approach to responding to requests for information from governments, and will continue to closely evaluate the merits of each request to protect the rights of the people who use our service, as well as the rights of Twitter and its employees."

The US House select committee couldn't immediately be reached for comment.