I’ve just been released from LinkedIn jail...
I’m out on parole
Recently, LinkedIn suspended my account, a platform claiming to be “the world's largest professional network on the internet.” Over the years, I accrued thousands of “network connections,” and in the blink of an eye, it all disappeared.
I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last. I join a long list of dissidents -- professors with unimpeachable reputations, such as Harvard University‘s Martin Kulldorff and Flinders University’s Nikolai Petrovsky, who were abruptly cancelled after expressing their objections to covid-19 vaccine mandates.
As many of you know, this heavy-handed approach is not unique to LinkedIn – YouTube, Twitter and Facebook are among the social media platforms censoring information purported to violate their “covid-19 professional community policies.”
LinkedIn gave me a warning. My first offence was posting an article titled “FDA authorised new mRNA formula for kids without a clinical trial.”
I interviewed eminent experts such as Tom Jefferson, epidemiologist at the University of Oxford, about the lack of regulatory oversight after Pfizer changed the formulation of its mRNA vaccine and rolled it out to millions of children without clinical trials.
LinkedIn notified me that the post had been blocked from public view. I had an opportunity to appeal the decision, and I did, but heard nothing in return.
Two weeks later, I posted an article titled, “A 5th jab – implications for the immune system.”
I interviewed Cody Meissner, professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, who spoke candidly about his concerns over the potential adverse impacts on a person’s immune response after repeated covid-19 boosters.
LinkedIn explained that my articles violated their “Professional Community Policies.” I asked for details on which specific claims were alleged to be “false” or “misleading” and any corresponding references.
They would not play ball.
Instead, LinkedIn stated it “wouldn't be able to interpret our User Agreement and professional community guidelines any further,” and pointed me to its website:
“Do not share content that directly contradicts guidance from leading global health organizations and public health authorities; including false information about the safety or efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines.”
The policy defies logic.
Not only does it fail to define what it considers to be “false information,” the guidance from different “leading global health organisations and public health authorities” varies significantly.
Also, the decisions on who will be censored are inconsistent. For example, Thomas Wilckens, a medical doctor and entrepreneur, posted information that was ultimately removed from LinkedIn, but the same data posted by someone else, remained public.
I was interested to know how my articles came to the attention of LinkedIn censors. Did certain words in my article trigger an algorithm or did someone submit a vexatious complaint? Again, LinkedIn refused to explain:
“We are not in a liberty to share the details about the reason that led to an account restriction or our internal findings.”
So, it’s a black box - no transparency, no insight into the fact-checking process and no procedural fairness.
In order to have my account reinstated, I had to agree to comply with the platform’s User Agreement and Professional Community Policies. I was also warned that any further violation would result in my permanent cancellation from the platform.
I superficially agreed to avoid further breaches, and in return, my account was reinstated. I have just been released from LinkedIn jail and I am now on parole.
Over the last few days, many readers have asked for details on why I was suspended from the platform and how I managed to get reinstated – so here it is.
While I’m none the wiser about what specifically triggered the censorship, it has been an effective deterrent. I doubt that I will post covid-19 vaccine articles on the platform in the future.
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