Billionaire tech investor and entrepreneur Peter Thiel apparently thinks Silicon Valley tech companies have wielded too much, unchecked power.
In an interview with “Fox and Friends” on Friday morning, Thiel responded to Twitter’s recent decision to temporarily block Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign account after it posted a video of protest ors threatening the Senator outside of his Kentucky home.
Thiel said that Twitter’s response was probably “technically correct,” according to company policy, but that the case of it happening to a Republican Senator was “a problem” for the company because “these sorts of things keep happening.”
“There’s an outside story of what happens on Twitter to the outside world,” Thiel said. “And then there’s an inside story inside these companies where they are sort of totalitarian, semi totalitarian one-party states. It’s like North Korea.”
Twitter declined Business Insider’s request for comment on Thiel’s remarks. Instead, the company pointed us to tweets from Twitter’s official corporate communications account that announced after “multiple appeals from affected users” the video in question would once again be visible, but bearing a “sensitive media interstitial.”
As of Friday morning, the tweet containing the controversial video appears on McConnell’s campaign account and full access to the account has been reinstated, a Twitter spokesperson said.
Peter Thiel himself did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for further comment on the matter.
Thiel’s main reason for appearing on “Fox and Friends” was to discuss his recent New York Times op-ed, in which the tech billionaire emphasized his concerns about the search giant Google setting up an AI research lab in China.
On Friday, Thiel reiterated those concerns, trying to get his point across that any research done in China would need to be shared, by law, with the Chinese military. Google’s decision is especially worrisome, Thiel believes, because while the tech giant is working in China, it has also recently chosen not to renew contracts with the US military involving its AI technologies.
“If you look at the entire Cold War history, the last, you know, century, I don’t think there’s ever a case where a major US company refused to work with the US and worked with our major geopolitical rivals,” Thiel said on Friday. “It’s not like this weird, liberal thing. It is absolutely unprecedented.”
Thiel has been on the offensive against Google as of late, starting with his comments earlier in July when he said the search giant had been “seemingly treasonous” for its work in China and called for an FBI and CIA investigation into the company. On Friday, Thiel again called on those federal agencies to “look into what’s actually going on.”
An outspoken supporter of President Trump, Thiel’s comments come as suspicions of an anti-conservative bias amongst Silicon Valley companies has reached a fever pitch with lawmakers in Washington. In June, President Trump told Fox Business Network that Google and Facebook (which counts Thiel as one of its board members) should be sued for bias towards conservatives. Most recently, this week the president tweeted that he would be watching Google “very closely.”