Earlier this month, I posted a link to an article I wrote, titled Burning Witches, on LinkedIn. When I checked to see if there were any comments, the post was gone. I was given no notification, and received no e-mails, indicating that the post had been removed. I’ve previously written about how Facebook is hostile to smaller platforms. It seems like LinkedIn is also participating in the new era of corporate censorship, but what makes their actions more sinister is that they do so without providing their users any notifications of post removal.
At first I thought, maybe I had forgotten to click the post button. However, on attempting to post a link to my website again, I was greeted by the following.
LinkedIn refused to even provide a preview to the article in question. I was able to repost my link without a preview, and was greeted by the following comment:
So I hadn’t forgotten to hit the post button. Apparently there were views and comments that I can never see. I started to look back through my posts and noticed that LinkedIn had also deleted my post on The Fracturing of the Human Mind and others as well.
At least when I was on Facebook, they had the decency to give me notice when they were trying to digitally gaslight me. Twitter locked my account for a 10 year old Tweet. LinkedIn’s post removals, without notifications, are inexcusable. If a platform is going to censor people’s opinions, it should do so openly and to their faces, not silently like cowards.
I’ve already been deplatformed from Hackernews, and have purposefully deleted social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Although I use some of the newer centralized services for self-promotion, I do think many of them are absolute garbage. If I had to revise my suggestions for Section 230 reform, I would add that a platform shouldn’t be legally allowed to delete your content without notifying you.
The only reason I’ve kept my LinkedIn account is my career. Dice has fallen from the market from the position it once held as a leading website in tech job searches. In general, I prefer to use platforms I have control over. I have my LinkedIn direct messages bridged to my Matrix chat server. I run my own e-mail server. I run my own Mastodon and Pleroma, which are Fediverse servers for decentralized social networking. I also follow independent blogs using RSS Feeds. The solution to big tech censorship is not to try and reform existing platforms, but to encourage people to read independent blogs again, and try newer technologies that route around the issues of big tech and big media censorship.
I realize LinkedIn is designed and marketed to be a business oriented website, and users typically don’t link the type of content I sometimes post on this website. In the past, I’d only promote technology posts on their platform. However, I started receiving e-mails form individuals, telling me how helpful my articles were, and the struggles they were having with their own families in light of the confusion of the past two years. Despite risks to my future career in the technology sector, I felt like I could no longer stay silent about current geopolitical events.
Deleting my posts without any notices or explanations, disturbed me more than the censorship I have seen on any other platform. I haven’t discovered jobs via LinkedIn in years, and it’s increasingly lost relevance to me. I only kept it around because I felt it was less invasive than the alternatives. Yet, in the end, it’s nothing more than another big tech powerhouse molding and shaping the professional narratives of our world, just as other platforms attempt to shape our private thoughts.
Censorship is growing on all the leading Internet platforms. I feel like I can’t go a day without hearing, “We can’t talk about that on YouTube,” from the people I follow. What makes this type of censorship so insidious, is that it creates the perspective, for those that have different views on contentious issues, that they are alone, ostracized and wrong. It allows media and tech platforms to promote the ideas they view as correct, by literally filtering out anyone who doesn’t agree with them. I’d go a far to say that platforms that censor people in the way LinkedIn does are pure evil and enemies of a free, thought-diverse and just society.
If you discover my stories via LinkedIn, please consider subscribing to me using an RSS reader, or signing up for my mailing list. I get a few dozen to a hundred views from posts on LinkedIn. In light of learning how they arbitrarily delete my posts without notice, it honestly may not be worth keeping my account on such a garbage network. People often click single links, and rarely continue to explore blogs and websites past that initial click. Despite the additional viewership I get, is it really worth it if LinkedIn gets to choose which parts of my voice are allowed to be heard?