Dear Mr. Roslansky:
When I joined LinkedIn in 2007, your site was still in its infancy and welcomed my presence. As the site gained traction and attracted more members, so did its value. In the past 18 months or so, I came to regard LinkedIn as a godsend: Whereas in the past I was forced to heavily rely on the corporate media to identify whom they thought were the best thought leaders, LinkedIn provided me with the opportunity to make my own determinations. I prefer to rely on my own abilities than journalists controlled by Disney, AT&T, Comcast, and other ethically challenged corporations.
You and your team have much to be proud of. Unlike Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other more popular social media sites, celebrities don’t find much value in LinkedIn. I’d consider it a badge of honor that even Kim Kardashian appears to have abandoned your site. I’ve read that 10 percent of the twits on Twitter are responsible for 90 percent of the content and most of them are A-list celebrities. I’ve also read that three quarters of the links posted on Twitter are never opened. Based on my experiences, LinkedIn users open posted links with considerable frequency. I’m surprised you don’t make a bigger deal about this.
My trust in LinkedIn was predicated on the belief that all LinkedIn members were allowed to freely showcase their thought leadership in their respective areas of expertise. I’m fast learning that trust was misplaced. My first discovery was a disclosure by Dr. Joel Kahn, a triple board-certified Michigan cardiologist who has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, that LinkedIn censored him multiple times. Gradually, I began to see other LinkedIn members claiming to be censored. The final straw was learning that LinkedIn censored Dr. Martin Kulldorf, a biostatistician, epidemiologist, and a professor at Harvard Medical School.
With due respect, I’m doubtful that LinkedIn employs anyone qualified to make determinations about the validity or suitability of pronouncements made by Drs. Kahn and Kulldorf. As the keeper of a business and employment-oriented site I trust you know that Harvard Medical School enjoys a certain stature globally, and that being appointed to the school’s faculty denotes a considerable level of achievement.
Dr. Kahn has voiced concerns about the safety of vaccines, and it seems reasonable to assume Dr. Kulldorf posted something at odds with what the Biden Administration, the CDC, and the corporate media deems acceptable. My understanding is that LinkedIn, along with your other Big Tech brethren, thinks it is doing God’s work censoring any information that might make people doubtful or more fearful about the COVID vaccines. Quite the contrary. The more you censor, the more doubt you seed, as it makes people suspicious of the possible hidden motives responsible for keeping information from them. Moreover, censoring doesn’t seem all the effective.
According to a report by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, anti vaxxers are responsible for almost two-thirds of anti-vaccine content circulating on social media platforms. Despite Facebook’s and Twitter’s claims that they have made great efforts to curtail the most prominent anti vaxxers, their audiences and influence continues to grow. Some of the culprits named in the CCDH report – Robert Kennedy Jr., Ty and Charlene Bollinger, and Dr. Joseph Mercola and others – aren’t on LinkedIn or haven’t been active on the site for more than a year.
What seems evident is that LinkedIn’s censoring is uneven. I know that one of Dr. Kahn’s posts that LinkedIn censored pertained to vaccine safety data that concerned him. Fair enough, the data could understandably provoke fear. Yet, this post by someone whose bio says she has a PhD in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Texas appeared in my feed this morning:
I don’t know how many times I need to post this and variations of its to get through to people that most of the patients with COVID in some of the most vaccinated countries are fully vaccinated. This means the vaccines are not fit for purpose and in fact seem to be making the epidemic worse. Please see Worldmeter stats. Stop being brainwashed. Just stop the vaccines and use treatments that prevent contraction and transmission. The vaccines are at best treatments if they only “lessen severity” so what is there to lose? No boosters! Treatments!
In my feed yesterday was a link to this story featuring Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Bloomberg School of Public Health, saying the unvaccinated were unfairly being demonized because “those who are unvaccinated pose no risk to the vaccinated beyond that of a common cold.” Demonizing the unvaccinated is a critical component of the Biden Administration’s and the media’s strategy to force the fearful into getting jabbed. How did Makary’s comments escape your censors, particularly since Johns Hopkins has one of the most aggressive vaccine mandate policies of any hospital?
A nagging concern of mine about LinkedIn is that it is owned by Microsoft, whose buggy software products I’m not particularly fond of. I know that U.S. corporations are subservient to China’s communist leadership and acquiesce to all its demands, so this morning I started wondering if LinkedIn possibly operates in China and how it might deal with that country’s abundant censorship policies. Sure enough, my instincts and worse fears proved correct: LinkedIn is the only U.S. social media site allowed to operate in China and you engage in prodigious censorship of users in that country. Shame on you.
LinkedIn’s China experience is instructive. Despite your best efforts to keep China’s leaders happy, your aggressive censorship efforts didn’t satisfy Xi Jinping, the country’s leader. I couldn’t help but notice that you were forced to “temporarily” stop registering users in China, where you are a bit player regardless and likely always will be.
Getting into bed with any government, even U.S. leadership, is a slippery slope. The resistance of 30 percent of Americans to get vaccinated isn’t ultimately the result of a dozen alleged hucksters sowing doubt and fear, but rather the ineptness of the president and his COVID team to effectively respond and assuage those concerns. Intrepid doctors like Kahn and Kulldorf should be welcomed because they force the government to sharpen their message points.
Today, LinkedIn is supporting the U.S. government’s vaccine policy. Given that Biden spokesperson Jen Psaki disclosed last month the administration is in “regular touch” with the leading U.S. social media platforms, it’s not a great leap to imagine that LinkedIn and others could be asked to censor articles about significant patient safety issues at U.S. hospitals because it makes people fearful to go and get treatment.
The best argument for LinkedIn to get out of the censorship business is that it’s bad for business. Every post you censor diminishes the value and integrity of your site. You are possibly mistaken if you believe that LinkedIn, given its current dominance as a business and recruitment site, can’t be overtaken.
Though the trend is still in the early stages, the best and most ethical reporters increasingly are choosing not to work at corporate-owned publications, but going independent and posting their work on Substack, an online content platform that allows them to monetize their work and talents. One of those reporters is Glenn Greenwald, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist reporter who left an investigative website he co-founded after an editor moved to censor a critical column he wrote about the Biden presidential campaign and the U.S. intelligence community. The most insightful story on the incident was written by Matt Taibbi, another top-tier reporter that moved to Substack.
Greenwald has launched a new video channel on Rumble, a video-sharing platform growing in popularity because it promises not to censor content. Rumble is a long way from displacing You Tube, but as Americans, particularly conservatives, tire of Big Tech’s censorship practices, I wouldn’t bet against them. I’m more inclined to bet against the New York Times and CNN, as their biased and dishonest journalism practices are becoming more widely known. Both outlets have seen a decline in traffic and viewership since Biden assumed the presidency.
Mr. Roslansky, I urge you to reconsider LinkedIn’s censorship practices. If you insist on continuing with them, then fess up and publicly explain the criteria used to deem content unacceptable. Moreover, if you support censorship, I urge you to resign as a director of GoDaddy. People who engage in censorship shouldn’t serve on the board of a company that hosts independent websites.