Joe Biden railed against tech giants, video game designers, and a law that protects online platforms.
In an interview published on Friday, the former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate recalled a meeting with Silicon Valley tech leaders about protecting intellectual property rights.
“At one point, one of the little creeps sitting around that table, who was a multi- — close to a billionaire — who told me he was an artist because he was able to come up with games to teach you how to kill people,” Biden said. “Video games.”
Biden has previously expressed contempt for violent video games. Following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, he assembled a group of video game industry representatives to discuss measures to prevent gun violence and called for research into whether video games can encourage real-world violent acts.
“One of these righteous people said to me that, you know, ‘We are the economic engine of America. We are the ones,'” Biden said. “I added up the seven outfits, everyone’s there but Microsoft. I said, you have fewer people on your payroll than all the losses that General Motors just faced in the last quarter, of employees. So don’t lecture me about how you’ve created all this employment.”
Biden expressed dislike of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. “I’ve never been a big Zuckerberg fan. I think he’s a real problem,” he said, adding that unlike media companies, Zuckerberg can write something false and “be exempt from being sued.”
Biden said he supports doing away with Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a 1996 law that protects online hosts such as Facebook and Twitter protection from liability for content posted by users.
“Section 230 should be revoked, immediately should be revoked, number one,” he said.
Some lawmakers have proposed changing the law in wake of misinformation posted on the sites and what some believe are biased censorship rules, while others say that the law is crucial to the foundation of the internet.
Facebook is “propagating falsehoods they know to be false, and we should be setting standards not unlike the Europeans are doing relative to privacy,” Biden said.
Biden was on the receiving end of online misinformation in the form of an online ad last year that accused him of withholding aid to the Ukrainian government unless it ended an investigation of his son Hunter Biden. While Biden did condition $1 billion in aid to Ukraine on the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was widely viewed by Western countries as corrupt, there is no evidence that Biden aimed to protect his son from an investigation into the Ukrainian gas company on the board of which he sat.
The former vice president also doubted that Zuckerberg was not aware at the time of Russian efforts using Facebook to try to influence the 2016 presidential election.
“I don’t believe him for a second,” Biden said.