Do you think that the following statements violate LinkedIn’s policy forbidding speech that is based on prejudice, discrimination, or stereotypes about “inherent traits” or religious affiliation?

  • [Africans] have never been civilized!
  • [Muslims] control the media.
  • There are too many [black] women in this industry.
  • Most [black] people have an uncontrollable urge to control [white] bodies.
  • All [black] children have been indoctrinated since birth.
  • You [black people] are all far worse than your ancestors.
  • You’re fed up with [black] men being crap? Join the club then, I guess.
  • [Islam] is corrupted by white supremacy.

They’re all awful things to say. They’re all based on stereotypes. And they come from ignorance, at best; hatred, at worst. They seem to be forbidden by LinkedIn’s hateful-conduct policy, and we have no doubt that if these statements were made as written, LinkedIn would have removed them.

But, as you can tell from the brackets, they weren’t made as written. Each of these statements put words like “white,” “Jews,” “Europeans,” or “Christianity” where the brackets are. LinkedIn ruled that none of the statements written that way violates its hateful-conduct policy.

It only takes a few moments to find hundreds of statements like these on LinkedIn. There is an enormous community of diversity, equity, and inclusion consultants who post similar things regularly. They decry “whiteness,” which they often write with a white circle to avoid spelling out the word “white.” They say that all white people (again, often written with a white circle) are uncivilized, racist, bigoted oppressors. They lament Jews’ purported control of the American media. They disparage Christianity and Christians.

Despite its hateful-conduct policy, LinkedIn seems to have no problem with any of this. Within minutes of receiving reports about each of these statements, LinkedIn announced that its “Trust & Safety Team reviewed the post and found that it does not go against our Professional Community Policies.”  

LinkedIn approved all of them.

We asked LinkedIn’s corporate communications manager, Brionna Ruff, whether the statements would be removed if they appeared as they do above, with “black” substituted for “white,” “Islam” for “Christianity,” etc. She avoided the question and instead just referred us back to the policy with her hope that we “may find [it] helpful.”

It’s likely that LinkedIn would take the posts down if they appeared as they appear above. There’s no way LinkedIn’s left-leaning employees would tolerate statements against groups that rank highly in liberals’ oppression matrix. But, if that’s the case, then LinkedIn’s policy is not a policy at all. It’s a cover for hypocrisy.

Terms like “hate” or “bigotry” are inherently subjective and prone to misuse. They have no fixed definitions and, as the 2023 Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index observed, can and will be interpreted according to the enforcers’ biases.

LinkedIn’s bias is evident in the policy itself (even assuming equal and neutral enforcement): LinkedIn cares only about certain types of hateful speech. The policy forbids hateful speech about race and gender identity, for example, but does not apply to class or place of origin. It is not a violation to say, for example, that all poor people from Appalachia are backward and stupid.

More evidence of LinkedIn’s bias: It reserves the sole and unreviewable discretion to preserve hateful speech if the speaker has “personal experiences with racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of prejudice or discrimination.” That suggests that if you’re a member of one of the groups that LinkedIn favors, you don’t have to follow the same rules as everyone else.

All of this raises the question: Could it really be that the “Professional Community” is as woke and hypocritical as those of other social media companies? LinkedIn is supposed to be the grown-up at the internet table.

Sadly, that isn’t true. LinkedIn is not only as woke as other social media companies, but probably even more so. And it doesn’t hide it. On the contrary, LinkedIn devotes a great deal of its resources to publicizing its ideological bias. In fact, LinkedIn does more to publicize it than Facebook does and more than Twitter ever did.

LinkedIn has pages and pages dedicated to showcasing its dedication to DEI: “We realize diversity, inclusion, and belonging for our employees, members, and customers.” It regularly publishes blogs touting its commitment to DEI. It produces hundreds of videos and classes to teach other people how important DEI is. It celebrates the DEI awards it wins from left-wing groups. And every year, LinkedIn celebrates the gains it made in visual diversity (diversity of thought, not mentioned).

“Each year,” LinkedIn says, “we take time to reflect on the pace of our progress toward building a more inclusive and equitable workplace.” Does that apply to Jews, white people, and Christians? Does it apply to people who believe that character matters and color doesn’t? No answer is apparent in LinkedIn’s diversity materials.

LinkedIn does, however, provide an answer to the question “What sort of diversity do you care about?” Only race, gender, and disability. Those are the only categories of diversity that LinkedIn’s diversity report tracks.

Meanwhile, LinkedIn celebrates dividing its employees into race- and sexuality-based “employee resource groups.” And it celebrates the leadership and talent development programs that it created only for members of “systemically marginalized” groups. Yes, discriminatory employment programs violate the nation’s civil rights laws, but LinkedIn seems to care as much about the law as it does about antisemitism and anti-white racism on its platform.

The truth is that LinkedIn and its parent company Microsoft (which also devotes a great deal of its resources to its “Diversity and Inclusion Journey”) are just as woke as the apparently less serious social media companies. Perhaps even more so. And they’re just as unprincipled and hypocritical in their content moderation policies.

For Microsoft and LinkedIn, a solution is at hand: Adopt commonsense recommendations, like those offered by the Viewpoint Diversity Score Business Index, to clean up their policies by eliminating unclear and imprecise terms and ensuring legitimate harms like bullying and harassment are objectively defined, equally enforced, and extended to everyone, regardless of their beliefs or personal traits.  

Microsoft has been given this opportunity for years, but thus far has refused to make even the most basic changes or disclosures.

Lawmakers take note: Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that LinkedIn is the grown-up social media company. If your sights rightly fall on Facebook, Instagram, X, and TikTok, they ought to fall on LinkedIn and Microsoft, too.