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(NewsNation) — Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley defended her position on social media during the fourth GOP debate after her GOP rivals said Haley’s proposal would be a “massive expansion of government.”
“What I said was social media companies need to show us their algorithms. I also said there are millions of bots on social media right now. They are foreign, they are Chinese, they are Iranian,” Haley said.
Last month, Haley partially walked back her proposed requirement that social media companies ban people from posting anonymously online for national security reasons.
She has also previously backed a ban on TikTok, saying teenagers “will understand” the need for a ban on the platform.
She added, “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 and fight back on all of these bots.”
Haley drew backlash over her proposed TikTok ban, saying the platform was “trying to influence young voters.” She also emphasized that people need to know about the “dangers of TikTok,” including foreign bots that she says can spread misinformation.
During the debate, Haley sparred with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, who claimed Haley’s previous position was much harsher.
“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 because I think we’ve got too much cyberbullying. I think we’ve got child pornography and all of those things. But having said that, I never said government should go and require anyone’s names,” Haley said.
DeSantis claimed that this is false, saying, “She said one of the first things I’m going to do, all social media, I want your name. And then she got real serious blowback and understandably so, because it’d be a massive expansion of government.”
Ramaswamy and Haley have previously exchanged jabs over the former South Carolina governor’s position on TikTok, with Ramaswamy saying “she’s on the wrong side of that generational divide.”