Originally published by Brownstone Institute.
The aggressive actions of YouTube and Twitter against a diversity of science and thought, particularly on matters pertaining to Covid and control measures, are well known. Most recently, Senator Rand Paul’s own YouTube account was restricted, and Twitter routinely throttles and finally takes down accounts that push against the established orthodoxy of the moment as defined by the highly political Center for Disease Control. Sometimes these actions have seemed so arbitrary that the reason for the blocking is unclear.
Receiving less attention has been the rise of censorship on the Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, the social network for professionals that has thus far seemed to be a less active participant in the Covid information wars. Its largely passive approach is starting to change.
Epidemiologist and Harvard Professor Martin Kulldorff, a senior scholar of the Brownstone Institute and leading author of the Great Barrington Declaration, has had two posts removed by LinkedIn on August 12, 2021.
The first was his positing of an extended and widely praised interview with Kulldorff on the show American Thought Leaders as conducted by Jan Jekielek and hosted by Epoch Times.
Kulldorff posted the interview on his personal LinkedIn account. It received 5,000 views, 50 likes, and several positive comments. Then LinkedIn took it down, replacing it with an announcement to Kulldorff as follows.
Later in the day, Kulldorff reposted a link from Thorsteinn Siglaugsson concerning comments by Iceland’s chief epidemiologist that the only way Iceland can finally control Covid will be to allow exposure among the non-vulnerable thus building up herd immunity. Eradication is not an option, explained the scientist in comments covered widely in the press.
The link itself was blocked and Kulldorff received the same message: “It’s been removed because it goes against our Professional Community Policies.” So here we have a major social media portal for professionals taking down comments by the chief epidemiologist of an entire country.
LinkedIn has generally been a safe option for scientists and others who have looked for a means by which to share information when so many other venues have become closed to debate and discussion. The newest actions by this platform suggest that it too has enrolled in the strategy of shutting down alternative voices, even when they are highly credentialed and have important information to share as it relates to public health policies.
LinkedIn was apparently made aware of the controversy and posted a perfunctory note about its appeals process.
LinkedIn is the only major American-owned social network permitted in China. It has 50 million members. Since March 2021, the Communist Party has been pressuring the company to better control the political content on its site, according to the New York Times. “Officials are requiring LinkedIn to perform a self-evaluation and offer a report to the Cyberspace Administration of China, the country’s internet regulator,” says the Times. “The service was also forced to suspend new sign-ups of users inside China for 30 days, one of the people added, though that period could change depending on the administration’s judgment.”
You can follow Martin Kulldorff on Twitter, when the platform deems his posts safe enough for you to see.
Author: Brownstone Institute
The Brownstone Institute for Social and Economic Research is a nonprofit organization conceived founded in May 2021 in support of a society that minimizes the role of violence in public life.