Linkedin removed another column of mine relating to vaccines. That’s four in total. I’m not going to lie – it’s upsetting and demoralizing.

For those unfamiliar with Linkedin, it was intended as a professional networking site allowing people to post their bios and credentials online, making it easier for companies and recruiters to find them. Users eventually began sharing their insights, published articles, memes, and other items of interest. The site, which is owned by Microsoft, is remarkably successful as almost without exception I can find professional backgrounds on people I’m researching.

Linkedin is the only social media I’m on. The site is remarkably civil, considerably more so than what I experience driving in Los Angeles. Unlike Twitter where vulgarity is common and acceptable, Linkedin users don’t have potty mouths. Most of the discourse is polite and respectable, and people who become nasty are fast put in their place.

More importantly, I’ve encountered a lot of super smart people from all walks of life all over the world. Healthcare is one of my major interests, and Linkedin is chock full of physicians, scientists, administrators, and other experts who share their admirable knowledge. The site is especially popular with people like me who believe the U.S. healthcare industry is corrupt and in need of radical reform. I learn a lot following these people, and the insights and articles they share have been a major source of information for this blog.

I worked as a reporter for about a decade, and I was a very careful and responsible one. I went after some very powerful organizations and people, and never once was I successfully sued, even in Canada where reporters have considerably less legal protections. The one time I was threatened with a lawsuit my newspaper’s libel lawyer told me I was his dream client because how meticulous I was in my note taking and had backup for every claim in the disputed article. The lawyer wrote a short FU letter to the lawyer whose client threatened to sue my newspaper and that was the end of the matter.

I worked in PR for more than two decades, and being perceived as credible was still of utmost importance to me. Reporters who had regular dealings with me knew I wouldn’t lie or deceive them, but they also appreciated that I knew enough about journalism that if they wrote an unfair or biased article about one of my clients, I could and would make their lives very miserable.

In writing this blog, I’ve gone to great lengths to be responsible. As much as possible, I provide links to the information I cite, despite evidence that very few people click on links. If someone points out an error, I quickly correct it. If I have even the remotest of conflicts, I disclose them.

That is why having my content censored by Linkedin is upsetting, particularly when my commentaries are stamped with a notice that I violated Linkedin’s “professional community policies.” The censoring clearly implied that I was spreading false and harmful information, although I was given no explanation about my supposed errors.

I’ve never held myself out to be a vaccine expert. In fact, were it not for Linkedin’s censorship practices, I would have blindly followed whatever directives the FDA and CDC issued. I grew up in Canada during a period when Canadians were notorious for respecting and following authority. This was my late mother’s favorite joke:

How do you get 100 Canadians to instantly clear out of a swimming pool?

Just announce everyone out of the pool.

My concern about the government’s pandemic policies was innocently sparked following a fellowship trained cardiologist who worked at a respected hospital when it was renowned for his specialty. I followed the cardiologist for his preventative health care advice and ignored his initial postings about vaccine data. I trusted the FDA to monitor that sort of stuff.

But over time I noticed the cardiologist posting that Linkedin had censored his comments. It was unimaginable to me that unknown persons at a social media site were censoring a fellowship trained cardiologist’s interpretation and concerns about published government data. I would understand the censorship if the cardiologist was peddling lotions and potions that he claimed would prevent or cure covid, but he had no financial or other incentive to share his concerns. He was just a concerned physician.

I contacted the physician and he educated me about a sizeable coterie of physicians, scientists, and other experts who shared his concerns all over the world. To my surprise, there was a group in Israel that put together a detailed and very well written report questioning government policies in that country.

A turning point for me was this commentary published August 23, 2021 on the FOX news website by Dr. Marty Makary, a professor of surgery and health policy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and a bestselling author on healthcare costs.  Here are the first three paragraphs from Makary’s commentary:

I am not weighing in politically on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan—you may believe it’s going well or you may believe it’s going poorly. But one thing abundantly clear to me is that the White House is creating daily COVID headlines to distract from the coverage. 

On Monday August 16, a video of Afghanis running with a U.S. Air Force plane went viral, triggering sharp bipartisan criticism.  

Later that day the White House leak to the New York Times and Washington Post plans to announce vaccine boosters for every American, despite zero clinical evidence that boosters reduce severe illness. 

Zero clinical evidence that boosters reduce severe illness?  And a professor at one of America’s top medical schools alleging that pandemic decisions were being made to distract from the Biden Administration’s Afghanistan debacle?

Despite Makary’s impressive credentials, there were many who no doubt instantly dismissed his allegations as partisan because he made them on the FOX news channel. But I’m doubtful that the New York Times or Washington Post would have published Makary’s commentary because they serve as the communications arms of the Biden Administration and wouldn’t want to stop the steady flow of leaks they are regularly showered with.

My guess is the source of the leaks was former Biden covid czar Jeffrey Zients or someone close to him. I’ve previously written why I was always distrustful of Zients.

Marion Gruber

In any case, about two weeks after Makary published his commentary, Drs. Marion Gruber and Phil Krause resigned from the FDA, reportedly because of undue political interference to approve vaccine boosters. I researched Gruber and Krause and learned they are two of the world’s leading vaccine authorities. I expected at least one publication would report more details about what prompted the resignations, but I was mistaken.

I’m not a vaccine advocate nor am I anti-vax, although for what it’s worth I’m triple vaccinated. My concern is the mainstream media being allowed to determine what’s truth and what’s “misinformation” and “disinformation.” I was alarmed by the so-called “Twitter files,” which revealed that executives at the social media site were in regular contact with government officials and taking direction about pandemic content they wanted censored. Rather than be alarmed by the disclosures, the mainstream media trashed the journalists who disclosed the information.

That’s madness!

Phil Krause

Censorship not only doesn’t prevent the spread of false information, it fosters more of it. A successful thirtysomething Canadian politician recently died, and the cause wasn’t publicly disclosed. There was considerable speculation online that he died from vaccine complications, but I did some research and found good reason to believe the politician committed suicide. Yet there are no doubt legions of persons who believe the politician died from vaccine complications because they don’t trust the media to be straight with them.

Smearing physicians and scientists who are critical of government policies is merely fostering more anger and distrust. The media would have you believe the critics are quacks and their followers ignorant MAGA supporters. I’ve noticed that the followers of the most well-known critics tend to have advanced degrees and their Linkedin profiles indicate they are very successful. These people have come to distrust the mainstream media as much as I do.

After discovering that Linkedin censored me yet again, I instantly began beating myself up, as is my instinctive tendency. The thought of being tagged a purveyor of reckless and false information was upsetting, and I initially decided that I’d avoid writing about subjects that would get me censored on Linkedin.

As the day wore on, I began thinking of the legions of highly accomplished physicians and scientists whose careers were destroyed because they refused to take the easy path. While I’m not a vaccine expert, I know the media business and what I see happening in America is very dangerous. I’m not going to select my subject matters so I can seek the approval of Linkedin’s unknown censors.

I expect I’ll get banned from Linkedin, which is how most people find this blog. If my insights are possibly of interest, I’d very much appreciate it if you’d subscribe.

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