Repost: The Ongoing Evidence That LinkedIn is Censoring Black Creators
Hello friends, this was originally published last year. It’s on LinkedIn, but was also on another platform where it’s no longer publicly available, so I thought I’d put it here for the record. I’m no longer updating my list, but if you check out the original LinkedIn post, you’ll see plenty of examples from others.
The Ongoing Evidence That LinkedIn is Censoring Black Creators
This past weekend, I spent a lot of time tagging LinkedIn and LinkedIn Help about cases of the censorship of Black voices. It's not the first time I've done so, nor am I the first person to do so. I decided to use this space to track some of the many articles where LinkedIn has been called out over this in the last 18 months.
One of the first articles I came across on this issue was this one by Aaisha Joseph: LinkedIn: The Moderator of the Black Professional Voice? We Need Answers. In the article, she noted:
"1) the inappropriate removal and suppression of content by particular Black professionals (those who without self-censorship address inequity) and their allies, 2) the inexcusable allowing of excessive and flagrant abuse against Black professionals and their allies by White men and White women, and 3) the seemingly strategic promotion of Black voices that do not comprehensively reflect the true sentiments and thoughts of Black America"
A couple months later, Aaisha followed up with this piece: LinkedIn, White Supremacy, and the Raging War for Change. In it, she stated:
"I believe that while LinkedIn may have every intention of creating an anti-racist organization — there are powerful factors, whether it be people, corporations, or LinkedIn itself, that are wholly resistant to this idea."
Around the same time, Ashanti Maya Martin raised the issue in a New York Times article titled: Black LinkedIn Is Thriving. Does LinkedIn Have a Problem With That? The article said:
"Black users who post in forceful tones, and some of their allies, say they feel LinkedIn has silenced them — erasing their posts and even freezing their accounts for violating vague rules of decorum."
Seb Joseph published: On LinkedIn, Black anti-racist campaigners worry they’re being censored. He noted:
"For Joseph, and other diversity advocates, LinkedIn feels like its stopping them from sharing their anti-racist messages with a wider audience. Ironically, getting actual hate speech and violence removed from LinkedIn can be much harder."
I have also published articles on this issue several times, including:
August 2020 - Writing about racism while Black
October 2020 - Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman on social media
November 2021 - I forgot to screenshot
November 2021 - LinkedIn, We Need to Talk (Again)
And Lisa Hurley has written two articles and several LinkedIn posts:
I repeat, these are only the articles I know about. I know that several people in my LinkedIn network experience the suppression of their voices every single week. For some, it's a daily occurrence, and some have even been ejected from the platform.
My goal here is to compile a catalog of evidence that's incontrovertible. I'll also publish this on another platform, just in case I, too, get deplatformed or suppressed. If you have published an article or an extended post on the issue, I invite you to link to that post in the comments here, and tag LinkedIn Help. Perhaps, as a collective, we can get them to finally take action.
Thanks for reading,
Sharon Hurley Hall, Founder and Curator-in-Chief of Sharon's Anti-Racism Newsletter.
UPDATE: I am adding new articles here as they are shared with me:
Black creatives speak out against LinkedIn for removing posts (August 2021)
As Black users complain of censorship, LinkedIn faces a perception problem (September 2021)
See the original LinkedIn post.