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I’ve generally found social media platforms valuable in helping me reach audiences I value – but that doesn’t mean that they’re all equally valuable. And because Linkedin‘s perfomance in this regard has been mediocre at best, I’ve decided to respond to its decision to suspend my account for “behavior that appears to violate our Terms of Service” by in effect telling it to take a hike. 

Not that it would have been all that difficult for me to go through Linkedin‘s appeals process to get reinstated. In fact, I’ve swallowed my pride twice to take these steps for Twitter. But for all its glaring faults along censorship, partisanship, and double standards lines, Twitter has been incredibly effective at helping me achieve my goals.

Linkedin, by contrast has been kind of a flop. I’ve met a good number of folks who seem genuinely interesting, and reconnected with old friends and colleagues I’ve missed. But engagement levels are rock bottom. Moreover, at 68 and retired, I’m neither job-hunting nor searching for contacts to create future career opportunities.

Now it’s true that my Linkedin suspension has probably been a simple mistake on the platform’s part. That seems to have been the case for Twitter, and I was reinstated in a matter of hours on each occasion when I allegedly raised a red flag.

As best as I can tell, the post that got me into trouble on Linkedin was this one – where I reported that global CCP Virus deaths were approaching the number of European Jews killed in the Nazi Holocaust. I assume that some algorithm, or 20-something censor, or combination of the two, saw the word “Nazi” and decided the post was hate speech.

But the idea that any software progam could be incompetent enough, or any censor boneheaded enough, to cancel me for this item is so offensive itself that I simply couldn’t stomach even the modest knee-bending required to get reactivated. At the same time, of course there’s a more fundamental issue at stake here: Why should Linkedin or any of its counterparts be in the business of supervising what kinds of expression are and are not acceptable to begin with?

Sure, I know that legally speaking they’re private companies and therefore have the right to enforce any standards of behavior they feel like. But there’s also a lot to the argument that they’ve become so powerful collectively – and in some cases individually – that they’ve acquired a worrisome amount of power to influence how the entire world (and the U.S. public) receives and transmit news and other types of information that shape politics and policy, and broader social and cultural practices and behaviors.

Again, that’s why I’ve so far allowed Twitter to be the boss of me – at least in principle. But Linkedin? As far as I’m concerned, you’re completely dispensible. So I’m telling you to take your Terms of Service and shove them. In other words, you’re cancelling me simply because you can? Well I’m cancelling you out of my life simply because I can.