John Samples

Vice President

John Samples is a vice president at the Cato Institute. He founded and directs Cato’s Center for Representative Government, which studies the First Amendment, government institutional failure, and public opinion. Samples serves on the Oversight Board, which provides final and binding decisions on whether specific content should be allowed or removed from Facebook and Instagram. (Samples’ opinions are his own and do not represent those of the Oversight Board or of Facebook).

Samples is currently living in Northern California and working on a book‐​length manuscript about social media and speech regulation that extends and updates his policy analysis “Why Government Should Not Regulate Content Moderation of Social Media.” He previously wrote The Struggle to Limit Government: A Modern Political History and The Fallacy of Campaign Finance Reform. Samples also coedited with Michael McDonald The Marketplace of Democracy.

Prior to joining Cato, Samples served eight years as director of Georgetown University Press and before that as vice president of the Twentieth Century Fund. He has published scholarly articles in Society, History of Political Thought, and Telos along with numerous contributions to edited volumes. Samples has also been featured in publications including USA Today, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times. He has appeared on NPR, Fox News, and MSNBC. Samples received his PhD in political science from Rutgers University.

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