Editor note: Last week, LinkedIn shut down the account of Law Enforcement Today’s National Spokesman, Kyle Reyes, for sharing an LET article that they called “fake news”. But here’s the thing. It wasn’t fake news – it was a story backed with video evidence that was widely reported in the news.
It’s not the first time LinkedIn has censored pro-police content. More on that in a minute. But here’s what you need to know.
When you first open the website for LinkedIn.com, you’re encouraged to create an account to find jobs, people, or training relevant to your field of choice.
“Welcome to your professional community,” the front page announces.
Based on recent events with one of Law Enforcement Today’s National Spokesman, I’m going to go ahead and alter that slogan to:
“Welcome to your professional community, as long as you post things we agree with.”
Let’s be crystal clear about our stance at LET. We are unabashedly pro-law enforcement. Period. End of story.
Our platform, which is one of the largest online homes of law enforcement and supporters in the world, has been scrutinized recently in a pretty harsh way, being flagged for “fake news” in articles that have quotes taken directly from the people who said them.
Copy and pasted from their social media accounts.
Reported in mainstream news outlets.
Of course if we’re wrong on something – we’ll be the first ones to own it and fix it. But the blatant LinkedIn censorship here is something that should be very, very concerning to everyone.
However, if people are throwing hissy fits because they don’t like what’s being reported, that’s on them. Generally, this is more of what we receive versus legitimate corrections.
"2020 presidential candidate Bernie Sanders campaign was rocked again on Tuesday after James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas released more undercover footage exposing paid Sanders campaign staffers appearing to advocate for violence against political opponents." https://t.co/HiKNCfH7VC
— Project Veritas Action (@PVeritas_Action) January 29, 2020
We don’t make anything up, because we are all people with some kind of law enforcement affiliation or background, and we know what that could do to us, to our forum, and to our reputation.
Which is why it is so incredibly frustrating to hear what LinkedIn has done to the account of one of our National Spokesman, Kyle Reyes.
(Above: Reyes gives the keynote speech at a fundraising gala raising money for the families of fallen officers.)
A few weeks ago, James O’Keefe and Project Veritas released damning videos of multiple Bernie Sanders Campaign staff. Law Enforcement Today, like many other media outlets, reported on it each time O’Keefe released more of the undercover interviews his staff obtained. (Editor note: O’Keefe’s Twitter account was also “silenced” this week for the same content.)
BREAKING: 2ND PAID STAFFER PRAISES GULAGS
— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) January 21, 2020
In case you missed it, those interviews revealed Sanders’ staffers saying some incredibly unflattering and not nice things, and even some threatening and violent things about republicans, conservatives, and Trump supporters.
Like previous reports, the authors of those articles (of which I was one) took quotes that were said directly from the volunteers’ mouths and added them into our pieces.
The quotes, remember, which were heard on VIDEO. Video which was embedded into the article.
We’re pretty good at what we do over here, but I don’t think any of us have the skill set to alter a video, including audio, covertly slip it into the hands of the original source (O’Keefe), and then spread said video to mass media with no one suspecting a thing.
Not to mention, we don’t have to do something like that. These people are doing and saying stupid things all on their own, without our help. But that’s neither here nor there.
Reyes, who is a regular keynote speaker at Law Enforcement and Conservative events, shared one of the stories on his LinkedIn profile.
His reward for supporting his staff, and for his pro-police stance, was having the account “restricted” and removed from the platform.
BREAKING: James O’Keefe of Project Veritas has just been suspended from Twitter…
For reporting on Bernie Sanders campaign officials praising gulags and violence against Trump supporters.
Big tech censorship is real and must be stopped.
BLOW. THIS. UP!
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) February 5, 2020
He reached out to LinkedIn on January 28 to report the restriction and find out how he could fix it.
Their response was, “Your account has been restricted due to a violation to the LinkedIn’s User Agreement relating to the following false content: Shared post on January 24, 2020 at 15:02 GMT stating: Yes, he actually said that. And he didn’t stop there…and the headline– When we win, Trump supporters will be put into labor camps.”
Here is the link to the article by Pat Droney. https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/bernie-sanders-employee-when-we-win-trump-supporters-will-be-put-into-labor-camps/
The LinkedIn Member Safety and Recovery Consultant responding to the inquiry, Daniel, went on to say that the matter would be “re-reviewed” once provided with reasoning as to why the restriction was incorrect, as well as “sources or materials” to support the position.
The main problem here is that there is no false content, and it’s absurd that this issue hasn’t already been resolved. The editor provided the sources requested (of which there are MANY, because it was caught on video and shared with all news outlets, and kind of a big deal).
“It’s not false news just because someone doesn’t like it,” he told Daniel.
After no response for NINE days, and after following-up multiple times, he finally heard back from a different LinkedIn Member Safety & Recovery Consultant, Alisa. Her response, short and sweet, was, “I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but your account is still under review. We will be in touch as soon as possible.”
That’s it? NINE days to watch a 2-minute video?
This account is paid for, Reyes informed LinkedIn that they can’t breach a contract simply because they don’t like something.
“You’ve violated the terms of the contract and are now costing my company substantial amounts of money,” he said.
And yet, they continue keeping his account locked because “someone” didn’t like what the video revealed. Or rather, didn’t like it being reported.
The quotes in question that were flagged as “fake news” are ON VIDEO. These words were straight out of the interviewees’ mouths. There’s no disputing it. So what’s the holdup?
One can only draw conclusions based on the lack of communication as well as the foolishness of the allegations.
I have wracked my brain, as have my editor and other staff writers, to think of any other reason for this mistreatment and violation of a contract and paid subscription.
We were unsuccessful in coming up with anything other than the obvious: LinkedIn employees’ values and beliefs don’t align with those of Law Enforcement Today, and for that, the company has messed with our Reyes’ livelihood, his business, his reputation. LinkedIn is apparently not pro-police and has pounced on the opportunity to mess with a major contributor to the law enforcement community.
To Reyes, it’s pretty obvious what’s going on.
“It seems consistent that when I share pro-law enforcement content on LinkedIn, it’s either throttled or shut down. A lot of my posts are. LinkedIn either sees me as being too outspoken in support of law enforcement or apparently too conservative to have a voice on the platform… especially going into the elections,” he said.
This gross violation is unacceptable. We won’t stand for it, and you shouldn’t either.
One calculated oppression on our pro-police forum may seem like a small offense, but what could happen as a result is not.
It’s also not the first time that LinkedIn has censored this pro-police voice.
In December, we reported about how Reyes was seemingly being shadow banned on LinkedIn.
On LinkedIn alone, Kyle Reyes has a following of nearly 25,000 people on the platform.
If we take a dive into the data of LinkedIn users and their activity, you can see that there’s something wrong with postings getting lost into the algorithmic abyss of content.
One example is from a post that was on the platform for over 24 hours regarding an NYPD officer being gunned down by friendly fire. While many articles and posts can exceed over 100 interactions within an hours’ time, this post managed to have three total interactions. Two “likes” and a comment.
In another example screen shot below, our spokesman shared an article pertaining to the growing number of police suicides. Over 24 hours on the platform, and only four “likes”. People following Kyle Reyes on the platform know exactly the kind of content he shares, so it’s certainly not a matter of disinterest from the intended audience, it’s blatant shadow banning of content.
There’s simply example after example present within the past few weeks of something nefarious going on in the background of LinkedIn’s algorithms. After keeping a closer on the distributed content, it’s hard not to spot the trend that we’re seeing here: there’s no place for pro-police content on LinkedIn.
We were initially alerted to something fishy going on when Kyle Reyes was notified, back in November, by one of his many connections that they were completely unable to share some of Kyle’s content on their feed.
A link to pro-police Law Enforcement Today article that displayed a “share button, when clicked by the user, stated: “Sorry, we couldn’t find that post. Let’s try again.”
“Sorry, we couldn’t find that post. Let’s try again.”
Of course, trying again for the user was completely moot, as the error came up again and again. To make matters all the more intriguing, that user wasn’t even able to “like” or comment on the shared post.
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When instances like that are brought to one’s attention in the past, then being coupled by the fact that there’s pieces of content that traditionally get hundreds, if not thousands, of interactions on the platform suddenly getting near zero; it can make one wonder who else is experiencing this and not saying anything.
If you genuinely consider how often someone might chalk something up to being a “glitch”, without being able to see if anyone else had the issue; you can get the idea of how clever shadow banning methods are. It can topically appear as there being no issue at all, but we’re here to call it what it is.
If you, or anyone you know, are having difficulty “liking”, sharing, or even commenting on any content; then it might just not be a glitch. When you encounter it, call it out, as that is the only way to address this kind of censoring of the kind of content you’ve asked to see.
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