Nikki Haley has retracted her previous request for social media platforms to prohibit anonymous users, following backlash from the Republican Party.

Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina, has revised her suggestion to require social media platforms to prohibit anonymous postings for national security purposes. This idea received criticism from conservative online communities and some of her fellow Republican candidates for the presidency.

The ex-ambassador for the United Nations made remarks to Fox News on Tuesday that were swiftly shared by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ campaign. Both Haley and DeSantis are attempting to appeal to Republican groups, such as parents concerned about their children’s safety online and voters anxious about China’s impact on American matters. As they compete for a distant second place behind former President Donald Trump, Haley and DeSantis have each criticized the other for being ineffective in dealing with China.

Haley, a former governor of South Carolina and U.N. ambassador, stated on Fox News that all individuals on social media should provide their name for verification purposes. This measure is necessary to address potential national security risks. According to Haley, implementing this policy would promote accountability and eliminate the presence of foreign bots from countries like Russia, Iran, and China.

Haley expressed concern about the potential for social media anonymity to lead to misinformation, stating that people are more likely to behave civilly when their name is attached to their words.

On Tuesday, Haley announced her intention to request access to social media algorithms in order to comprehend how specific content is targeted towards certain users. She made this statement during an appearance on the Ruthless podcast, where she was joined by a co-host known as “ComfortablySmug” in the online world.

Haley reiterated her previous statements that verifying every individual on their platform by name would help eliminate foreign bot accounts.

On Tuesday evening, a few of Haley’s fellow Republicans had started to criticize her plan on the internet.

“Did you know that Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison wrote as anonymous authors in the past? Florida Governor DeSantis shared this on X, formerly known as Twitter, and criticized Haley’s suggestion to ban anonymous writing as “risky and violating the Constitution.”

Many individuals on conservative social media also expressed similar opinions to DeSantis.

Charlie Kirk, the CEO and co-founder of Turning Point USA, a conservative youth organization, posted a response to Nikki, acknowledging the anonymous authors of the Federalist Papers and supporting the importance of anonymous speech as a crucial aspect of free speech.

On her show, conservative radio host Dana Loesch expressed her disagreement with Haley’s stance, despite having personally experienced online harassment and death threats.

“I strongly disagree with government regulation of things like this,” stated Loesch. “It goes against the principles of free speech and the founding of our country. It’s an invalid argument.”

Vivek Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur who has clashed with Haley in recent candidate debates, referred to her proposal as “repulsive.” This came after Haley called him “scum” for criticizing her daughter’s use of TikTok.

Elon Musk, the owner of X (formerly known as Twitter), responded to Ramaswamy by saying, “That’s really messed up. She should stop pretending to run for president.”

Under his ownership, Musk has opened up X verification checkmarks to paid users, not just those who previously were required to submit identification, in order to be considered verified. The confusion that ensued after Musk bought the San Francisco company for $44 billion last year raised concerns the platform could lose its status as a purveyor of accurate, up-to-date information from authentic sources, including in emergencies.

Haley revised her stance by Wednesday. During an interview on CNBC, she clarified that she was not advocating for a complete ban on anonymous social media posts. She mentioned that while she personally believes it would lead to a more civil society, her focus is on foreign individuals rather than American citizens.

Haley stated that she is okay with American individuals being able to express themselves anonymously, but she is not in favor of Russians, Chinese, and Iranians having the same freedom. She did not explain how she believes social media companies should handle these users.

Haley campaign spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas stated on Wednesday that DeSantis is advocating for unrestricted use of Chinese propaganda on social media. She also believes that social media companies should take responsibility for monitoring anonymous, foreign accounts.

Nikki strongly opposes the practice of allowing Chinese and Iranian individuals to create anonymous accounts on social media in order to spread disruptive and anti-American content among our population. She believes that social media companies need to greatly improve their efforts in monitoring and preventing this type of behavior.


Meg Kinnard can be contacted on her Twitter account, which can be found at