Jim Jordan Subpoenas National Science Foundation For Communications Discussing ‘Content Moderation On Social Media’

(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Font Size:

House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan issued a subpoena Tuesday to the National Science Foundation (NSF) relating to grants it awarded to universities and companies for the development of censorship tools.

The Daily Caller News Foundation previously reported on a track within the NSF’s Convergence Accelerator program that awarded grants for teams of researchers to develop tools aimed at targeting misinformation. Jordan asked for the NSF’s communications with private companies and third-party groups “discussing content moderation on social media, including those relating to NSF’s Convergence Accelerator Track F program,” according to a letter to the agency.

“The information obtained by the Committee and its Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government, along with other publicly available information, have revealed how the federal government has pressured and colluded with Big Tech and other intermediaries to censor certain viewpoints on social media in ways that undermine First Amendment principles,” Jordan’s letter states. “The First Amendment prohibits government officials from imposing viewpoint-based restrictions on speech.” (RELATED: Emails Show How Biden Officials Considered Covering Up Censorship Activities In The Wake Of DCNF Report)

The NSF initially awarded 12 research teams with grants of $750,000 each in September 2021 as part of its Convergence Accelerator Track F program. Six teams were chosen to advance to stage two, where they were given an additional $5 million in funding.

“It is necessary for Congress to gauge the extent to which NSF officials have coerced, pressured, worked with, or relied upon social media and other tech companies and third parties to censor speech,” the letter continues. “The scope of the Committee’s investigation includes understanding the extent and nature of NSF’s involvement in this censorship.”

The NSF repeatedly failed to respond to the committee’s prior voluntary requests for documents and internal communications, instead producing to the committee information that was, for the most part, already publicly available, according to the letter.

An NSF spokesperson said in a statement provided to the DCNF that it did not “at any point attempt to conceal or mislead the public, Congress, or the media about its Track F Program or any of its other investments.” The spokesperson said the agency “has been working with the House Judiciary Committee to address their concerns.”

“NSF does not engage in censorship and has no role in content policies or regulations,” the NSF spokesperson said. “Per statute and guidance from Congress, we have made investments in research to help understand communications technologies that allow for things like deep fakes and how people interact with them. By understanding how they operate and are being used, we can provide policymakers with the information they need to make informed decisions about regulations and guardrails to protect the public and ensure they can make informed decisions.”

Following the DCNF’s report in February 2023 on grants the NSF had awarded to fund censorship tools, the NSF program manager Michael Pozmantier said in an email that he would consider pulling down videos referenced in the article or “locking the page ASAP,” according to a the House Judiciary Committee report published Tuesday.

All content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation, an independent and nonpartisan newswire service, is available without charge to any legitimate news publisher that can provide a large audience. All republished articles must include our logo, our reporter’s byline and their DCNF affiliation. For any questions about our guidelines or partnering with us, please contact