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"Unwanted or harmful content" is whatever puts LinkedIn managers in a bad mood
The contradiction at the heart of Big Tech platforms like Google, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn is that they present themselves as an open, vibrant and educational forum for public discussion and debate, but then behave as though they are hosting a Wokeist, Covidean ideological sect whose a priori assumptions must be adhered to religiously as a condition for remaining in the club.
We all know that legally, a private corporation can set its own rules, and is not required to permit the full gamut of free speech. But the degree of arbitrariness with which Big Tech companies apply their own rules - often functioning as proxies for their own shifting ideological sensibilities - makes their contractual obligations, and the corresponding rights of users, fickle and almost impossible to decipher with any degree of confidence.
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I recently saw my Linkedin account “restricted,” as I explained in an earlier post, for daring to question one of LinkedIn’s untouchable public health organisations on a specific matter of public health that affected the health of millions of children. I was firmly warned that as a condition of remaining a LinkedIn member, I would have to adhere to their “professional community guidelines,” in particular regarding the sharing of “misleading and inaccurate information.”
Hi David, Your account was restricted due to multiple violations of LinkedIn's User Agreement and Professional Community Policies against sharing content that contains misleading or inaccurate information…Any additional violation of our terms can result in the permanent restriction of your account. We have these policies in place to help keep LinkedIn a safe, trusted and professional network for everyone. You may appeal the restriction by responding to this email with your agreement and intent to comply with our User Agreement and our Professional Community Policies.
• User Agreement: https://www.linkedin.com/legal/user-agreement• Professional Community Policies: https://www.linkedin.com/legal/professional-community-policies. Thank you for being part of the LinkedIn community.
Regards, LinkedIn Member Safety and Recovery Consultant (19th July 2022)
Here is the exact wording of Linkedin’s policy on “misinformation”:
Do not share content that directly contradicts guidance from leading global health organizations and public health authorities.
Here’s a simple translation: don’t dare question the guidance of global health organisations canonised by LinkedIn, irrespective of the arguments or evidence you may present in your defence. An information and propaganda cartel doesn’t get much more corrupt than that.
On 19th July, I very reluctantly agreed to comply with their policy in order to keep my LinkedIn account open and not lose contact with colleagues.
Once my account was restored, I wasted no time in sharing my experience of LinkedIn’s draconian censorship policies as widely as possible. So far, a LinkedIn post in which I exposed LinkedIn’s unethical censorship policies has reached over 32,000 impressions, leaving all of my prior LinkedIn posts lightyears behind:
I sent the post in question to a friend using Linkedin private messaging, remarking that it had performed remarkably well. He asked me why, and I replied, “Probably because people are so sick of being censored and prohibiting criticism of authority is about as illiberal and totalitarian as it comes.” Would you like to hazard a guess as to what sort of “intervention” that private exchange on LinkedIn sparked? An official warning showed up before he could click into my messages, stating that “This message may contain unwanted or harmful content.” Apparently that warning later disappeared. But it is surely worrying that a private exchange of this sort would be labelled by LinkIn as containing “unwanted or harmful content.”
Unwanted by whom? Harmful to whom? And harmful in what way exactly? Is criticism of censorship by a private platform inherently “harmful” to anyone? Does LinkedIn get to decide that any remarks critical of its content moderation policies are “unwanted or harmful”? It would appear so. LinkedIn presents itself as a professional platform for serious, professional people, yet it treats its users as infants who cannot be trusted to debate public matters or question public authorities that have been handpicked by LinkedIn as untouchable.
You may wonder why on earth I even continue to post on LinkedIn. I suppose it is because for the time being, in spite of LinkedIn’s draconian censorship policies, quite a bit of useful information manages to sneak past the vigilant surveillance of their information Tsars. Also, I might as well reach a wider audience on LinkedIn until a truly open public platform comes on the scene, given that I have been officially booted off Twitter since October 2021. In any case, if you want to hear my “voice crying in the wilderness,” stay tuned on my Substack blog.
Thanks for reading!
I am delighted to announce that my wife and I had our very first baby (girl), Clara Thunder Serrano, on the 5th of July, weighing in at 4kg. Both mother and baby are doing great. I had some health issues connected to palpitations, hypertension and recurrent nosebleeds (described here), but I am working through them with the excellent staff of the University hospital. My heart has checked out with flying colours and I feel in a much better place than three weeks ago. Thank you for your prayers and good wishes.
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