'Weaponization' subcommittee alleges FTC 'harassment' of Musk-owned Twitter

"The timing, scope, and frequency of the FTC’s demands to Twitter suggest a partisan motivation to its action," they wrote.

Published: March 7, 2023 6:43pm

Updated: March 8, 2023 6:28am

The House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government on Tuesday released an interim staff report detailing the Federal Trade Commission's "overreach" in making extensive demands of social media giant Twitter following Elon Musk's purchase of the platform.

Dubbed "The Weaponization of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): An Agency’s Overreach to Harass Elon Musk's Twitter," the report notes various requests for information the agency made of the platform, which the subcommittee asserts occurred without "logical reason."

"Consisting of over a dozen FTC demand letters to Twitter that—in the span of less than three months following Musk's acquisition—make more than 350 specific demands, this information shows how the FTC has been attempting to harass Twitter and pry into the company's decisions on matters outside of the FTC's mandate," the subcommittee wrote in a press release on the report.

"The timing, scope, and frequency of the FTC's demands to Twitter suggest a partisan motivation to its action," it continued. "When Musk took action to reorient Twitter around free speech, the FTC regularly followed soon thereafter with a new demand letter."

In particular, the House lawmakers observed FTC requests for information regarding which journalists engaged with the platform, the creation of Twitter Blue, and nearly all matters related to Musk himself.

"There is no logical reason, for example, why the FTC needs to know the identities of journalists engaging with Twitter," the subcommittee asserted. "There is no logical reason why the FTC, on the basis of user privacy, needs to analyze all of Twitter's personnel decisions. And there is no logical reason why the FTC needs every single internal Twitter communication about Elon Musk."

Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on Twitter.

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