Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna criticized Twitter and Facebook for censoring the New York Post’s story on Hunter Biden, saying the story should not have been banned.
“I thought it was a mistake for Twitter to take down some of this stuff about Hunter Biden, or Facebook to do that,” Khanna said.
The New York Post published a story in October 2020 that detailed a meeting between Hunter Biden, then-Vice President Joe Biden, and a top executive at Ukrainian gas company Burisma in 2015, based on data recovered from a laptop belonging to Hunter. Not long after the story was published, Twitter blocked users from sharing the link and also suspended accounts that tried to tweet it out.
“I think that story was total hogwash, I think Joe Biden was unfairly attacked because of his son, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t belong in the public sphere,” Khanna said.
The Democrat also pushed back on the idea that social media companies are overly influential when it comes to people’s behavior, disagreeing with suggestions voiced by Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley likening online platforms to drugs.
“I think Hawley is a little too sensational,” Khanna said, adding that he does not have the view “that all Americans are so manipulatable that somehow because of Facebook they aren’t capable of free critical thinking.”
Khanna said he was in favor of limiting online verbiage that incited violence, he is also concerned about government censorship and tech companies assuming a greater degree of control over what can be said online.
“I am not for having either the government or tech companies, ultimately, being the arbiter of truth,” Khanna said.