Ohio Republican Senate candidate JD Vance is urging his fellow conservatives to “go after Big Tech” following recent revelations from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The tech mogul suggested the FBI warned Facebook that stories like the Hunter Biden laptop report could be part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
Facebook famously censored a New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s laptop that alleged potential Biden family corruption in the run-up to the 2020 election on its platform, claiming the contents of the computer could not be verified. Although Facebook feared involvement in a Russian propaganda operation by allowing stories about the laptop to circulate, those fears have since been disproven. Now, conservatives such as Vance are calling for action against Big Tech.
Vance told Breitbart News’ Alex Marlow, “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.’”
He added: “This a perfect illustration of why that argument is so inadequate 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.”
Vance was responding to comments Zuckerberg made on the popular Joe Rogan Experience podcast in which the Facebook founder 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.’”
Vance, who came to fame with his best-selling memoir, Hillbilly Elegy, received an endorsement from President Trump prior to his victory in May’s Ohio GOP primary, setting up a matchup against Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan in November’s Ohio Senate midterm election.