1 of 3 | Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio (C), signed Monday's letter to Meta, informing it that subpoenas issued in February apply to the newly launched Threads app. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo
July 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. House Judiciary Committee is raising concerns over possible censorship on Meta's new Threads social media platform, in a letter sent to CEO Mark Zuckerberg Monday.
"[The committee] is conducting oversight of how and to what extent the executive branch has coerced and colluded with companies and other intermediaries to censor speech," Chair Jim Jordan, an Ohio Republican, wrote in the letter.
The Republican-led committee first issued subpoenas in February to Meta "related to content moderation and Meta's engagements with the executive branch to censor speech."
Meta launched Threads earlier in July as a competitor to Twitter, calling it a conversation app.
The California-based tech company did not launch the app in Europe, where strict privacy laws could keep it from getting off the ground.
Monday's letter from the powerful House Judiciary Committee informs Meta that committee members believe the February subpoena extends to Threads.
"Given that Meta has censored First Amendment-protected speech as a result of government agencies' requests and demands in the past, the committee is concerned about potential First Amendment violations that have occurred or will occur on the Threads platform," the letter reads.
"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," the letter states. "In contrast, there are reports that Threads will enforce 'Instagram's community guidelines,' which resulted in lawful speech being moderated following pressure by the government. Despite launching only 12 days ago, there are reports that Threads is already engaging in censorship, including censoring users but offering no grounds for appeal."