Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley called out Big Tech companies for “acting like arms of the government” during a Thursday interview with Fox News host Bret Baier.
During a Thursday press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said that the White House would help Facebook combat misinformation on its platform by flagging posts for the social media company. Hawley, who has been one of the leaders in the fight against Big Tech censorship, called the White House’s commitment “scary.”
“I think it’s really scary to have the federal government of the United States, the White House compiling lists of people, organizations, whatever and going to a private company that by the way is a monopoly – Facebook – and saying you need to censor,” the senator said. (RELATED: Thursday Evening Dispatch: Biden Admin, Big Tech Working Together To Fight ‘Misinformation’)
“I just think that this kind of coordination between big government and the big monopoly corporation, boy that is scary stuff,” Hawley added. “It really is censorship, Bret.”
Baier asked Hawley if Psaki’s comments have changed his perspective about any issues surrounding Big Tech, specifically in regard to what they have said as private companies to defend their actions.
“Well, at this point, you really have to wonder how private of companies they are,” Hawley responded. “I mean, if you are taking direction from the federal government, openly coordinating with the federal government, you have got the government saying we think this speech ought to be censored and Big Tech if they carry out those instructions, I mean, that looks like they are starting to operate as a public utility and there are many people out there who say we ought to just treat them as public utilities.”
The senator also called for breaking up the companies, something he has long advocated for throughout his career. He said that many people believe that Big Tech should be regulated as if they are public utilities.
“But I have to tell you, Bret, their status as independent private companies looks more and more endangered here,” he continued. “They are acting like arms of the government. And when they’re monopolies, that’s a big problem.”