The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been making unusual demands of Elon Musk and Twitter, calling on him to disclose internal company communications and information about the social media platform’s mass layoffs — including communications and information relating to journalists’ work in reporting on the Twitter Files.
The Twitter Files exposed numerous efforts by various branches of the US federal government, Big Pharma, and political entities — including the office of Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff, who was the head of the House Intelligence Committee from 2019 to 2023 — to cajole and coerce Twitter into censoring the First Amendment-protected speech of regular everyday Americans and journalists.
The Republican-led House Judiciary Committee published a report on Tuesday titled "The Weaponization of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): An Agency’s Overreach to Harass Elon Musk’s Twitter," which claimed that the FTC was harassing Twitter.
The committee claimed that the FTC had made over 350 demands to Twitter, with the timing and frequency of the demands suggesting a partisan motivation to its action. The FTC stated in one letter that it had concerns regarding the impact of changes at the company on Twitter's ability to protect consumers' information.
The report cited multiple examples of demands made by the FTC that have “little to no nexus to users’ privacy and information” including, as highlighted by the Daily Wire:
- Information relating to journalists’ work protected by the First Amendment, including their work to expose abuses by Big Tech and the federal government;
- Every single internal communication “relating to Elon Musk,” by any Twitter personnel — including communications sent or received by Musk — not limited by subject matter, since the day Musk bought the company;
- Information about whether Twitter is “selling its office equipment”;
- All of the reasons why Twitter terminated former Twitter employee and FBI official Jim Baker;
- When Twitter “first conceived of the concept for Twitter Blue,” Twitter’s new $8/month verified account subscription; and
- Information disaggregated by “each department, division, and/or team,” regardless of whether the work done by these units had anything to do with privacy or information security.
“There is no logical reason, for example, why the FTC needs to know the identities of journalists engaging with Twitter,” the statement from the House Judiciary read. “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.”
Responding to the report, Musk took to Twitter to call the FTC’s demands a “serious attack on the Constitution by a federal agency.”