Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and 2024 Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at the Iowa Republican Party’s 2023 Lincoln Dinner held at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, on July 28, 2023.
Sergio Flores | AFP | Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley on Wednesday appeared to add a caveat to her proposal that all social media users should be authenticated by name, saying Americans should continue to be allowed to post anonymously online. he suggested.
Haley, one of former President Donald Trump’s front-runners in the 2024 Republican primary, reiterated on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that “social media companies need to verify everyone.”
The former U.N. ambassador has also called on social media companies to make their algorithms public, arguing that the spread of misinformation by anonymous bad actors poses a national security threat to the United States.
“Russia, Iran, China and North Korea also know that the cheapest form of war is to spread misinformation,” she said.
“Look at what happened in Israel. You want to know where this pro-Hamas information is coming from? It’s coming from foreign powers that are sowing chaos and division,” she said.
A day earlier, she made her position clear in an interview with Fox News, in which she said users’ names should be visible on social media. “If people know their name is next to the statement, there will be some level of civility,” she said on FOX.
She doubled down in a podcast appearance that also aired Tuesday. “They need to verify everyone who appears on the station, and I want to verify it by name,” Haley said.
But when asked on CNBC Wednesday morning if she wanted anonymous posting on social media sites like X (formerly Twitter) to be banned, Haley appeared to adjust her stance.
“You’re not actually saying people can’t tweet, are you?” she was asked anonymously.
“Do you think life would be more civil if we could do that? Yes,” she answered. “You should do what you say.”
“But, no, I don’t mind being anonymous. I don’t care that anonymous Americans have free speech, but I don’t care that anonymous Russians or Chinese or Iranians have free speech. I hate it,” Haley said.
It’s unclear whether Haley intended only American citizens to be able to post anonymously on social media sites, or whether she only wanted to ban anonymous postings from certain countries. It was also unclear how her dissection of anonymous Americans fit with her proposal to “verify everyone” on social media.
Asked to clarify these points, a spokesperson for Haley’s campaign said, “Russia, China, and Iran are waging a massive information war. It is dangerous to ignore this national security threat.” Yes, I’m naive,” he said.
“Social media companies need to better verify that users are human to crack down on anonymous foreign bots. We can do this while protecting our rights,” the spokesperson added.
Haley’s comments about the social media proposal quickly drew a wave of criticism online and from rivals in the Republican presidential primary.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis: “Do you know who the anonymous writers were back in the day? Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison when they were writing federal documents.” I wrote to X Haley’s FOX interview.
“They were not a ‘national security threat,’ and they were exercising their constitutional right to express their opinions without fear of harassment or cancellation from the school they attend or the company they work for. So do many conservative Americans across the country.” the Republican governor wrote.
“Ms. Haley’s proposal to ban anonymous speech online is as dangerous and unconstitutional as what China has recently done. The proposal will be dead when it reaches my administration.”
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, another leading Republican candidate, said: called Hailey’s attitude is “disgusting”.