Arvin Vohra, former Vice-chairman of the Libertarian National Committee and a 2020 presidential candidate, wrote the following open letter to the Libertarian National Committee concerning social media censorship:
Recently, you spoke out against the violence at the Capitol. As a believer in nonviolence, and someone who lives just a few minutes away, I appreciated that you spoke out. While the enemies of the American people do work at the Capitol building, violence is fundamentally wrong.
But you have remained entirely silent on the censorship over the last few days; in fact, you’ve remained silent on the censorship over the last few years. Today, Ron Paul was deplatformed. Many libertarian groups, including Punk Rock Libertarians, have been deplatformed.
I believe, as I’m sure most of you do, that a private company has the right to censor anyone it wants. Christian bakers should not be forced to bake gay wedding cakes. Jewish bakers should not be forced to bake Nazi cakes. And left wing social media sites should not be forced to host conservative or libertarian content.
But those tech giants should also not be getting government support. Governments do not have the right to outsource censorship to the private sector; it should not use its reach or our tax dollars to support the companies whose behavior is just plain wrong.
Governments, if they exist, must treat businesses equally. Today, governments post information on Facebook and Twitter. They pay Amazon AWS for hosting: https://aws.amazon.com/federal/
Censorship is irrational and repugnant. Companies have the right to do it. But our tax dollars should not fund those companies.
I ask you to support a resolution against government using our tax dollars to essentially outsource censorship to private companies.
This is the worst kind of crony capitalism. It’s like when the government hires mercenaries who ignore the rules of war in order to circumvent those rules. The government is using private companies to circumvent the first amendment.
Would you remain silent if a public utility cut the electricity off to the LP headquarters because the CEO disliked libertarianism? If not, why are you remaining silent when crony capitalist companies are deplatforming or cutting off internet hosting to those whose views they disagree with – including our former presidential candidate, Ron Paul?
I ask you to support a resolution to the following effect:
Whereas censorship is irrational and repugnant
Whereas the federal government is using tax dollars to support companies who are engaging in staggering levels of censorship
Whereas outsourcing censorship to private companies is a cheap way to circumvent the First Amendment
The Libertarian National Committee demands that Federal, State, and Local governments to cut off all ties with Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and Stripe, including cancelling any existing contracts.
Former Vice Chair
Libertarian National Committee