Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Thursday warned Big Tech “oligarchs” that they will soon face regulation, after Twitter and Facebook censored reports from the New York Post that were unflattering to former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.
After the Post‘s first articles published, Facebook reduced their distribution and Twitter slapped a warning label on them and locked accounts belonging to the Post and those associated with the Trump campaign and preventing anyone from sharing the stories, claiming they violated their policy on hacked material.
Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey later apologized for their initial reaction and removed the warning label. But that was not before Republican senators requested subpoenas for the heads of Facebook and Twitter to testify before the Senate.
“You have big tech oligarchs declaring war on Donald Trump, on the Republican Party, on conservatives across America,” Cotton said on a Trump campaign press call on Thursday.
“Refusing to allow people to post the url of a story, and then they just issue a mealy-mouthed apology saying that they could have communicated better…that is not exactly the standard that big tech oligarchs apply to every story about Donald Trump for the last five years,” he said.
“And for all of those tech oligarchs who think they can get away with this, I will simply say that winter is coming.”
He cited legislation that could eliminate that immunity from legal liability under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, as well as ongoing investigations by the Department of Justice, the Federal Election Commission, and various state attorneys general that could lead to “severe penalties and potentially being broken up as well.”
“I think the Big Tech oligarchs should be prepared for those actions and perhaps more as well,” he said.
The censored Post report published an email showing that Hunter Biden made arrangements for an executive of Burisma — the Ukrainian natural gas firm he worked for — and his father, then-vice president, to meet in Washington, D.C. This was despite the former vice president claiming that he had never discussed business interests with his son. The Biden campaign has said it cannot rule out that the meeting took place.
Another censored Post report was about how Hunter Biden monetized his connections with China. The report published another email from Hunter Biden that talked about securing a $10 million dollar annual contract for “introductions alone.”
The emails reportedly came from the hard drive of a laptop that was brought into a Delaware computer repair shop by Hunter Biden or an associate and then abandoned. Democrats have claimed it is Russian disinformation.
Trump Campaign Communications director Tim Murtagh also spoke on the campaign press call about the reliability of the reports:
As the New York Post reported, this laptop was abandoned property, and further speaking to the emails themselves that the New York Post reported the Biden campaign themself did not question their authenticity when given a chance to comment on a story either from the story that was published yesterday and today, or in their statement that they issued yesterday. The fact that they did not question the authenticity of those emails at any stage of this would serve to confirm their authenticity.
Emails reveal how Joe Biden's son Hunter tried to cash in big on behalf of Biden family with Chinese firmhttps://t.co/1VPtXi7X2t
Why is Twitter still blocking the link to this New York Post article?
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) October 16, 2020