Palantir founder and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel criticized Big Tech companies for banning Donald Trump and other conservatives yesterday, in a roundtable discussion hosted by the Richard Nixon Foundation.
The billionaire tech mogul, who was an early investor in Facebook and sits on the company’s board, was one of the few major figures in Silicon Valley to back Donald Trump in 2016, speaking at that year’s GOP convention in support of the future president. His remarks were made to The Nixon Seminar.
Thiel covered numerous topics in his remarks, including a lengthy critique of the tech industry’s overly-close relationship with China.
He also addressed the issue of tech censorship, saying that invisible censorship, or “downranking” is even more dangerous than outright bans.
“I think there has been lots of deplatforming of conservatives and I always think that the actual censorship that people talk about is just the tip of the iceberg and the real problem is the downranking,” said Thiel. “One of the top Google executives used to always say 5 or 6 years ago we never censor anybody we just downrank people and the downranking was the far more insidious way to sort of tilt the playing field of the discourse.”
“But there has been outright censorship, outright deplatforming,” continued Thiel. “And when you do it with the President of the United States, that does feel like you really crossed some kind of Rubicon where, you know, I’m not sure you declare war on half the country, but maybe a third, forty percent of the country and that seems really crazy.”
“When you have Angela Merkel and Obrador from Mexico saying that the tech platforms have been too anti-Trump, too mean to Mr. Trump, that tells you you have probably really overreached.”
Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. He is the author of #DELETED: Big Tech’s Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election.