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Tipsheet

House Democrat Says Twitter, Facebook Should Not Have Censored Hunter Biden Story

AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna (CA) said he believed it was a "mistake" for Twitter and other Big Tech companies to censor the New York Post's bombshell report about Hunter Biden even though he feels the story was "total hogwash."

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"I am not for having either the government or tech companies, ultimately, being the arbiter of truth. I'm for making sure that we don't have speech that incites violence but I'm very wary of censorship," Khanna told Joe Lonsdale on the "American Optimist" podcast while pushing his book, "Dignity in a Digital Age: Making Tech Work for All of Us."

"I thought it was a mistake for Twitter to take down some of this stuff about Hunter Biden, or Facebook to do that," he continued. "I think that story was total hogwash, I think Joe Biden was unfairly attacked because of his son, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t belong in the public sphere."

The New York Post released a report in October 2020 detailing emails obtained from a laptop belonging to Hunter Biden. The emails show that Then-Vice President Joe Biden was introduced by his son to a top executive at the Ukrainian energy firm Burisma Holdings less than a year before the current U.S. president pressured Ukrainian government officials to fire a prosecutor that had been investigating the company's dealings.

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Twitter blocked users from posting the link to the story and from sending it to others through direct messaging. The platform had also suspended the Post and other accounts that attempted to tweet the story.

Khanna also rejected the suggestion that social media companies have too much of an impact on people's behavior, taking issue with comments from GOP Sen. Josh Hawley (MO), who previously said that online platforms are as addictive as drugs.

He said he thinks Hawley is "a little too sensational" and that he does not believe "all Americans are so manipulatable that somehow, because of Facebook, they aren't capable of free critical thinking."

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