Why don’t tech giants ever seem to learn their lesson? Recently, LinkedIn, a social media platform owned by Microsoft, locked the personal account of Vivek Ramaswamy, a Republican candidate for President. The reason stated in an email to Mr. Ramaswamy was that he had shared “misleading or inaccurate information.”
LinkedIn pointed to three specific posts and videos by Mr. Ramaswamy. In one of them, he argues that if proponents of the “climate religion” truly cared about the climate, they should be concerned about shifting oil production from the U.S. to countries like Russia and China. In another, he states that fossil fuels are necessary for human prosperity. In the third, he claims that China manipulated the U.S. and exploited the “woke pandemic.”
While one may disagree with these statements or find them exaggerated, they fall within the realm of political debate. They are far from extreme compared to President Biden’s assertion that Georgia is implementing “Jim Crow 2.0” or the Democrats’ frequent claim that climate change presents an “existential” threat that must be addressed within a specific timeframe, or else humanity is doomed.
Mr. Ramaswamy’s team asked LinkedIn to explain what exactly was misleading about those excerpts. The company responded by stating that they cannot interpret the LinkedIn User Agreement or Professional Community Policies or provide hypothetical application scenarios. However, they promised to unfreeze his account and give him another chance if he explicitly stated his agreement to abide by their terms in the future.
Later, LinkedIn backtracked on its decision, claiming that Vivek Ramaswamy’s account had been “restricted in error,” according to a spokesperson for the platform, as reported by the Washington Examiner. However, Ramaswamy, an entrepreneur, author, and GOP presidential candidate dismissed LinkedIn’s claim as “laughable” and called on Microsoft’s chairman and CEO, Satya Nadella, to publicly denounce the platform’s censorship.
“On May 17, we noticed that my account was locked.” A LinkedIn employee stated it was because “I had posted videos containing ‘misleading or inaccurate information.'” Mr. Ramaswamy requested LinkedIn to identify the falsehoods in writing. The employee persisted, stating that they do not tolerate ‘misinformation, hate speech, violence, or abuse.’ It took several media inquiries before they reinstated the account nearly a week later. “Calling it an ‘error’ now is completely dishonest,” Mr. Ramaswamy tweeted.
Mr. Ramaswamy said this wasn’t a technical glitch; it was a deliberate act of censoring my views on Biden, Communist China, and climate change. It’s typical behavior from Big Tech: attempting to conceal their actions after egregious interference in elections. Mr. Ramaswamy challenged @SatyaNadella to publicly condemn LinkedIn’s censorship; otherwise, according to him, it is just the beginning of election interference in 2024.
Ramaswamy shared a message from LinkedIn stating that his account had been “restricted for repeatedly sharing content that contains misleading or inaccurate information.”
What exactly did he post? The platform listed three posts that it claimed violated its rules. One of the listed posts was a video with the comment, “The climate agenda is a lie: Fossil Fuels (Renewable Energy) are a requirement for human prosperity.” LinkedIn also objected to another video accompanied by the comment, “The CCP is playing the Biden administration like a Chinese mandolin. Communist China has weaponized the ‘woke pandemic’ to stay one step ahead of us. And it’s working.”
The message mentioned that LinkedIn would provide Ramaswamy with another opportunity to regain access to his account if he agreed to abide by the platform’s terms and refrain from violating them in the future. It also informed him that he could appeal the platform’s decision if he believed his content did not violate its policies.