Republican presidential candidate and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley was ripped by critics Tuesday after she vowed to require all social media users be verified in the name of “national security.”
“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,” Haley said during an appearance on Fox News earlier in the day.
“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 going to see it,” she added.
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Social media users quickly jumped on Haley, blasting her comments as “blatantly unconstitutional,” and “completely unhinged.” Those critics included her Republican primary opponents Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.
“You know who were anonymous writers back in the day? Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison when they wrote the Federalist Papers. They were not ‘national security threats,’ nor are the many conservative Americans across the country who exercise their Constitutional right to voice their opinions without fear of being harassed or canceled by the school they go to or the company they work for,” DeSantis wrote.
He went on to call her proposal “dangerous,” and said it would be “dead on arrival” in a DeSantis administration.
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Ramaswamy also referenced the Federalist Papers, and called her comments “disgusting.”
“Here’s what they would say to [Nkki Haley] if they were alive: get your heels off my neck & go back to England,” he wrote, referencing a slight about her high heels she directed at him during the third Republican presidential debate last week.
“Nice try, Nikki. Anonymous speech is a core part of free speech — which the founders would know, since many of them (including Alexander Hamilton and James Madison) wrote anonymously,” conservative activist Charlie Kirk wrote.
Digital strategist Greg Price joked Haley had “decided that enough was enough” after being “ratioed” over an X post about her high heels serving as “ammunition.”
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“Is Nikki Haley aware that the Federalist Papers were written by founding fathers using pseudonyms? Nikki Haley may be one of the most war-mongering and authoritarian candidates for president in some time. She’s completely unhinged. This is blatantly unconstitutional,” journalist Glenn Greenwald wrote.
Dan Caldwell, the vice president of the Center for Renewing America, also referenced the Federalist Papers, and added that “the ability to engage in anonymous speech has been a central pillar of the American conception of free speech since our founding.”
Other users accused Haley of wanting “to eliminate free speech,” called her comments “horribly authoritarian,” and warned that her idea would lead to conservatives being fired from their jobs for expressing their opinions.
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A number of staffers and supporters of DeSantis also took the opportunity to target Haley.
“I am no lawyer but isn’t this blatantly unconstitutional? Free speech includes anonymous speech,” DeSantis Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw wrote while Noah Jennings, the Iowa political director of pro-DeSantis superPAC Never Back Down, suggested Haley might “expand the Patriot Act to police thought crime.”
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Haley’s campaign responded to the criticism in a statement to Fox News Digital, saying, “We all know that America’s enemies use anonymous bots to spread anti-American lies and sow chaos and division within our borders. Nikki believes social media companies need to do a better job of verifying users so we can crack down on Chinese, Iranian, and Russian bots. That’s common sense.”
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