J.D. Vance, Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate seat from Ohio, said on Monday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow that Facebook co-founder and Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s recent admission of his company’s digital censorship of news and information related to Hunter Biden’s laptop ahead of the 2020 presidential election contradicts the framing of Big Tech companies as operating within a free market.
Last Thursday, Zuckerberg told Joe Rogan on the latter’s eponymous podcast that the FBI advised his company of digitally circulated “Russian disinformation” in relation to news and information regarding the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop.
When asked about Big Tech censorship of reports on Hunter Biden’s laptop, Zuckerberg said, “The FBI, I think basically came to us — some folks on our team and was like, ‘Hey, um, just so you know, like, you should be on high alert. There was the — we thought that there was a lot of Russian propaganda in the 2016 election. We have it on notice that basically there’s about to be some kind of dump of — that’s similar to that. So just be vigilant.’”
The FBI’s role in Facebook’s digital censorship should have led to “wall-to-wall coverage for a couple of weeks,” Vance said, highlighting much of the news media’s refusal to report on the government’s coordination with technology companies’ political restrictions on access to information.
Vance alluded to governmental circumvention of the First Amendment by outsourcing its political censorship to ideologically aligned Big Tech firms.
He remarked, “I argue that Big Tech is too powerful and that conservatives need to wake up and realize what moment we’re in and actually go after these guys. The counterargument I always get is, ‘Well, they’re a private company, and of course we believe in free enterprise and we [believe] in capitalism.'”
“This a perfect illustration of why that argument is so inadequate,” he continued, “because these guys are not only censoring because the dictates of the market require them to. They’re sometimes censoring because the government shows up at their doorstep that says, ‘Do this, or else,’ and then they do it in a way that affects the presidential election.”
Marlow described the coordinated censorship between Big Tech and the FBI as “tantamount to election interference” given the potential impact that news and information about the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop could have had on voters’ decisions ahead of November 2020.
Vance remarked, “According to independent studies — some done by pro-Biden groups — millions of votes were changed because of the lack of coverage of the Hunter Biden story, because it implicates the entire Biden family in corruption, and it wasn’t covered. It wasn’t shared on social media nearly the way it should have been, because our government told Mark Zuckerberg what to do with this digital media company.”
“It is an earth-shattering story,” he emphasized. “Unless we rein in the technology companies and unless we rein in the amount of power and influence they have over American elections, we’re never going to win the long-term battle.”
Free speech and expression are essential to a properly functioning American public capable of creating “better public policy” and making “better decisions,” Vance argued. Technology companies “backed up by the government agencies,” he concluded, “are denying us” these essential freedoms.
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