CLAIM: Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley claimed at Wednesday night’s NewsNation debate she never said the government should require social media users to be identified by name.
VERDICT: False. Nikki Haley stated that “every person on social media should be verified by their name” as the second part of a policy vision during a town hall-style segment with Fox News host Harris Faulkner on November 14.
During the debate, fellow candidate Vivek Ramaswamy levied an attack on Haley over comments from the event, calling the remarks “fascism” and saying she should “come nowhere near the levers of power, let alone the White House.”
Given a chance to respond, Haley said, “I will always fight for freedom of speech for Americans; we do not need freedom of speech for Russians and Iranians and Hamas.”
“We need social media companies to go back and fight back on all of these bots that are happening, that’s what I said,” she added after Ramaswamy interjected.
Haley then claimed her sentiment about “some civility” being brought by name verification was rooted in her opinion as a mother.
“As a mom, do I think that social media would be more civil if we went and had people’s names next to that? Yes, I do think that,” she said before claiming, “I never said the government should go and require anyone’s names.”
Ramaswamy and Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) both pounced.
“That’s false,” said Ramaswamy.
“She said, ‘One of the first things I’m going to do: all social medias, I want your names,'” DeSantis noted, challenging Haley to “roll the tape.”
Her full comments from November 14 read:
When I get into office, the first thing we have to do, social media accounts — social media companies, they have to show America their algorithms. Let us see why they’re pushing what they’re pushing. The second thing is every person on social media should be verified by their name. That, 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 gonna see it. It’s going to help our kids, and it’s going to help our country.
She went on to walk back the comments days later.