Republican Presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is criticizing social media platform LinkedIn for allegedly interfering with a presidential election as it locked his account over comments he made about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Biden administration, and climate change.
“If they can do it to me, they can do it to anyone. It’s remarkable that expressing fact-based views on climate policy and China-related policy, including legitimate criticism of President Biden, would result in outright censorship by a Microsoft-owned social media company,” Ramaswamy, who announced his candidacy on Feb. 16, wrote in a statement to The Epoch Times on Thursday.
The comments in question, according to the same screenshot, include a Feb. 5 statement by Ramaswamy: “The CCP is playing the Biden administration like a Chinese mandolin. China has weaponized the ‘woke pandemic’ to stay one step ahead of us. And it’s working.”
Another comment, dated Feb. 16, reads: “If the climate religion was really about climate change, then they’d be worried about, say, shifting oil production from the U.S. to places like Russia and China. Yet, the climate religion and its apostles in the ESG movement have a different objective.”
A third comment, dated May 7, 2023, says, “The climate agenda is a lie: fossil fuels are a requirement for human prosperity.”
Ramaswamy made all three comments in videos posted on the platform.
In response to a press inquiry on Thursday, LinkedIn wrote to The Epoch Times that Ramaswamy’s account was “restricted in error and it's now back up.”
The Epoch Times contacted LinkedIn to clarify the apparent contradiction between the justification LinkedIn sent to Ramaswamy for locking his account and the explanation the platform sent to The Epoch Times for the action.
“We tried repealing the restrictions for more than a week, and LinkedIn doubled down on Vivek's profile restriction,” a spokesperson for Ramaswamy wrote to The Epoch Times.
“Yet, the moment media attention shined light on LinkedIn's censorship they suddenly say the account was 'restricted in error.'"
Notably, Ramaswamy has been a vocal critic of what he describes as a collusion between the federal government and Big Tech; the latter, he says, censors viewpoints on behalf of the government.
“In other words, ‘Internet Service Providers’ would have a choice: either they could benefit from the extraordinary privilege of legal immunity against lawsuits from users alleging censorship while abiding by the First Amendment, or they could moderate and censor user content as they wish without the special shield of Section 230. But they can’t have both,” reads a segment of Woke Inc.
Ramaswamy repeated this message on the campaign trail.
Fast forward to today, Ramaswamy protested LinkedIn’s decision to lock his account, characterizing it as a part of a coordinated effort between “the left” and Big Tech.
“This is the embodiment of what’s wrong in America: an arranged marriage between large tech companies and the left that together accomplishes what neither could alone,” Ramaswamy told The Epoch Times on Thursday.
Previously, LinkedIn was also under fire for agreeing to content moderation actions on behalf of state actors.
A spokesperson from LinkedIn wrote to The Epoch Times in response to a press inquiry at the time that it “respect[s] the laws that apply to us, including Chinese government regulations for our localized version of LinkedIn in China.”