The House Oversight Committee on Friday demanded that social media companies release data and take immediate action to address a rise in online threats against law enforcement, The Washington Post reports.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security this week released a joint bulletin warning of a rise in threats against law enforcement after the FBI’s raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence.
"The FBI and DHS have observed an increase in violent threats posted on social media against federal officials and facilities, including a threat to place a so-called dirty bomb in front of FBI Headquarters and issuing general calls for 'civil war' and 'armed rebellion,'" the bulletin said, citing some that are "specific in identifying proposed targets, tactics, or weaponry."
The bulletin also cited a rise in "personal identifying information of possible targets of violence, such as home addresses and identification of family members, disseminated online as additional targets."
Congress takes aim:
The leaders of the House Oversight Committee on Friday sent letters to eight social media companies, including Meta and the right-wing platform Gab, demanding data on the number of threats against law enforcement on their platforms.
The letters cited a “spike in social media users calling for civil war” and other violence.
The letters ask the companies about how they respond to threats of violence and how many threats have been removed.
Other platforms that received letters include Twitter, TikTok, Truth Social, Rumble, Getter and Telegram.
Lawmakers link attack to threats:
The letters linked the threats on the platforms to an attack on the FBI’s Cincinnati field office last week by someone who posted on Truth Social.
“We are concerned that reckless statements by the former president and Republican Members of Congress have unleashed a flood of violent threats on social media that have already led to at least one death and pose a danger to law enforcement officers across the United States,” House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney and national security subcommittee Chairman Stephen Lynch said in the letters. “We urge you to take immediate action to address any threats of violence against law enforcement that appear on your company’s platforms.”