Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., declared on Friday that tech companies overstep when they censor news stories on social media.
Tech journalist Kara Swisher and business professor Scott Galloway interviewed Khanna on their “Pivot” podcast after the Twitter files revealed his private communication with then-head of legal policy Vijaya Gadde to express his concern about “violation of the First Amendment principles.”
When Swisher brought up how Twitter moderators may have had valid concerns about foreign disinformation being potentially repeated by American newspapers, Khanna stood his ground.
“I guess I’m not sure that should be their responsibility,” he said. “I don’t think that they need to be fact-checking the New York Times and the Washington Post-the New York Post, and all the media publications about whether the media is being played, I think that that’s a sufficient amount of vetting.”
ELON MUSK SAYS ‘ELECTION INTERFERENCE’ BY SOCIAL MEDIA COMPANIES ‘IS WRONG,’ UNDERMINES DEMOCRACY
Khanna defended his free speech advocacy to Swisher, explaining that it is “the modern public square.” He suggested that while Twitter had made the correct decision to remove a nude photo of Hunter Biden, it went too far by censoring a story from the New York Post about the Bidens’ business dealings abroad.
“But to take down the New York Post story? I mean look the New York Post is no friend of mine,” he said. “I would never think of saying ‘let’s block the New York Post.’”
He said Twitter went too far when it took down accounts that shared the New York Post story and how it was “not a good look for Silicon Valley.”
FROM ‘SMEAR CAMPAIGN’ TO ‘RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION,’ LIBERAL MEDIA TEAMED UP TO DISMISS HUNTER BIDEN STORY
The California Demcorat, who represents Sillicon Valley, noted when he reached out to Twitter, he did so privately, because he believed the company was making a mistake.
After the Twitter Files revealed Khanna reached out to Twitter with concerns about censorship, he was surprised by the support and praise he received from conservatives for his stance.
“I was surprised at how many conservatives who have criticized me in the past liked my stance on this,” he said. “It made me think that it’s not about Hunter Biden… What’s going on in this country is that there’s too many times where we try to silence people that we disagree with, we try to condemn people we disagree with, we try to act as if we’re morally superior to people we disagree with, and I think some people were just like ‘thank you for believing that you can have honest disagreements in this country and that someone doesn’t have to be morally inferior if you disagree with them.’”
The show of support from across the aisle, made Khanna optimistic that the country can move past the culture wars.
“I think to the extent that we can have more of that spirit in this country we can have some chance of getting past the culture wars which have really polarized the nation,” he said.
Read the full article here