Biotech entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy said Monday he believes former President Donald Trump’s ban from Facebook has produced a “groundbreaking legal theory” that could ultimately be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
In an interview with “Fox & Friends,” Ramaswamy, author of “Woke, Inc.,” responded to comments by Michael McConnell, the co-chairman of the Facebook Oversight Board who criticized the platform’s banning of the former president, which he characterized as a violation of the company’s own rules.
“They were not justified in taking him down indefinitely, they did not provide any reasons for that,” McConnell said in a clip played by “Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy. “That was wrong…their rules are a shambles. They are not transparent. They are unclear. They are internally inconsistent.”
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Asked to respond on Monday, Ramaswamy said he doesn’t believe that McConnell’s critique was sincere.
“I think that this self-criticism was just a veneer, it’s a smokescreen designed to create this air of legitimacy around their decision when in fact they did exactly what Mark Zuckerberg wanted to. They reinforced the decision that Facebook made,” he said.
Last week, the oversight body decided to keep Trump’s ban in place indefinitely, citing his post-election claims of vote fraud.
“The Board found that, in maintaining an unfounded narrative of electoral fraud and persistent calls to action, Mr. Trump created an environment where a serious risk of violence was possible,” the board said in a statement.
The board went on to say that a permanent ban, however, was equally wrong, calling on the platform to devise a “proportionate response that is consistent with the rules that are applied to other users of the platform.”
“Within six months of this decision, Facebook must reexamine the arbitrary penalty it imposed on January 7 and decide the appropriate penalty,” the board’s statement continued.
The platform booted Trump a day after some of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Building, as did other major social media companies including Facebook-owned Instagram and Twitter, all blaming his rhetoric for the assault.
Since then, Trump has launched his own non-interactive communications platform where he publishes statements amid rumors he may launch his own full-fledged social media site at some point.
Nevertheless, Ramaswamy believes the former president may have a court cause worthy of the nation’s highest legal jurisdiction.
“President Trump should take this case—not to Facebook’s sham corporate Supreme Court—he should take it to the real U.S. Supreme Court. And I actually think he has a potentially groundbreaking legal theory,” he said.
“Facts are on his side, where these companies aren’t like normal private companies. They’re effectively doing the bidding of Democrats in Congress who have threatened them with regulation and reprisal if they don’t go out and censor content that they, as Democrats, don’t want to see and they give them Section 230 immunity and go out and do it,” Ramaswamy, who has a law degree from Yale, continued.
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“So, that’s a combination of a stick and a carrot that turns this private action into really state-like action that’s governed by the First Amendment,” he added.