GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley stuck her foot in her mouth this week when she vowed to force social media companies to show their algorithms, in addition to the verification requirement.
As expected, she was criticized for the comments, which many people thought was authoritarian.
Fellow GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis, couldn’t resist trolling Haley, with his campaign selling new merchandise that mock Haley’s comments.
From Fox News:
DeSantis’ campaign announced new merchandise mocking Haley’s comments, including a t-shirt with the phrase, “Always Watching,” and a quote from Haley saying that “every person on social media should be verified by their name.”
Another item is a dystopian-themed “Official Internet Identification Card” fashioned after something that might be required by a science-fiction authoritarian regime.
Haley’s comments came during a Tuesday appearance on Fox News when she said the first things she would do if elected president would be to force social media companies to show their algorithms, in addition to the verification requirement.
“First of all, it’s a national security threat. When you do that, all of a sudden people have to stand by what they say. And it gets rid of the Russian bots, the Iranian bots and the Chinese bots. And then you’re going to get some civility when people know their name is next to what they say, and they know their pastor and their family members are going to see it,” she said.
Nikki Haley says "every person on social media should be verified by name" for the sake of "national security."
Nice try, Nikki. Anonymous speech is a core part of free speech — which the founders would know, since many of them (including Alexander Hamilton and James Madison)… pic.twitter.com/5SKPhvjMOU
— Charlie Kirk (@charliekirk11) November 14, 2023
DeSantis was quick to rip Haley for the proposal, joining a wave of critics blasting it as “unconstitutional.”
“You know who were anonymous writers back in the day? Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison when they wrote the Federalist Papers. They were not ‘national security threats,’ nor are the many conservative Americans across the country who exercise their Constitutional right to voice their opinions without fear of being harassed or canceled by the school they go to or the company they work for,” DeSantis wrote.
You know who were anonymous writers back in the day? Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison when they wrote the Federalist Papers.
They were not "national security threats," nor are the many conservative Americans across the country who exercise their Constitutional… https://t.co/YkAGMhUVCX
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) November 15, 2023
He went on to call her proposal “dangerous,” and said it would be “dead on arrival” in a DeSantis administration.
Haley walked back those comments on Wednesday, telling CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that while she didn’t mind “anonymous American” free speech, she didn’t support anonymous free speech for actors in Russia, Iran and China.