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Why I'm not applying to be let back on LinkedIn yet
Something has to change with them first, basically
I’ve had a few people reach out to me and query my disappearance from LinkedIn, and I’m sure it’ll be no surprise to anyone to hear that LinkedIn have suspended my account once again.
This was my last post that I know was banned, it really makes you wonder when you have simply cut and pasted from the actual article, it’s an Australian mainstream media site, and LinkedIn just pull it down like that.
This was even after I used a webarchive link to link the article (because I noticed LinkedIn were simply deleting Covid-related stories from news.com.au). I actually confronted LinkedIn about several “disappearing” posts and their response was basically to deny they had anything to do with it. Their response was ever so “Microsoft”, too (completely unhelpful and containing a lot of irrelevant advice and feedback from them).
So as far as I’m aware this was the story that broke the camel’s back for LinkedIn before finally deciding to shut down my account yet again. As you can see, it lasted an hour before being censored. Gee, they certainly are on the ball about stuff I post, right?
The part I haven’t really told anyone about yet is my disinterest in getting back on there for the time being. I haven’t appealed my suspension and I don’t plan to for the time being.
See, it was a pretty negative experience. That morning I woke up to find I was unable to get back on LinkedIn, in itself not such a big deal. What was worse though is that I got a text a couple of hours later about a job. I pretty much had it in the bag, everything set to go…then they saw my LinkedIn profile and balked. Bullet dodged for both of us, I guess, I wouldn’t want to work closely with folks who are so ardently pro-narrative that they’re unable to respect a differing opinion anyway. Nonetheless I was not pleased about that experience at all. It hardened my heart about the parts yet to come over the next year or two, in fact.
It seems some people are so interested in pretending everything is OK that someone like me coming along pointing out that it isn’t is just a bridge too far for them to have anything to do with me. So be it, that’s their choice.
For a while now all of my edgier writing has been hosted by Substack instead of LinkedIn - because LinkedIn seem to hate my edgier writing and ban/censor it. For a while all I’ve really been posting on LinkedIn are memes and news stories, mostly just with cut and pasted parts of the interesting parts of the stories. Yet that alone is sufficient to not only get me kicked off LinkedIn for probably about the fifth time, but cost me a job in real life too.
LinkedIn is what kicked off my instincts to fight this nonsense. I saw the hate piling on unvaccinated people late last year and it horrified me. It reminded me of the early stages of dehumanisation the Nazis engaged in before they went on to systematically murder millions of people, frankly.
I quit my job last year, you see. There’s a post about in the substack here. It was a really difficult decision for me, I was in a well-paid job. But various factors stacked up that made me decide to just take a break. I was unable to sleep, really depressed and stressed, and needed to focus back on exercise and spending some time outside again. Work had taken me over, and it was getting harder and harder to just survive.
My bosses at the time are actually family too, and they played all sorts of mind-games and pulled on the heart strings repeatedly to get what they wanted from me. All the while they were backstabbing me, I later found out. Their betrayal was a big part of me wanting a break from work altogether. I’d just had enough, and their mind-games had left me nearly suicidal. I was certainly very confused, and in a very dark place.
Since then my ex-boss, who is my uncle by marriage, decided I didn’t belong in the family anymore, and unfortunately my wife’s side of the family seems to have decided to take his side (nothing to do with money, I’m sure). So now my wife and I have been exiled from all family events on her side of the family, basically, and the ill-will, gossip and backstabbing about me continues. It’s my “punishment” for quitting my job, apparently. My ex-boss has also conducted a professional character assassination of me, apparently blaming me for…basically everything wrong.
So I’ve certainly already paid a price for the choice I made back there, and I continue to pay the price.
But part of the reason I quit my job too was seeing the divide over the vaccine. I knew it would happen, you see. I called it as early as March 2020 - “there’s going to be a vaccine, and who gets it and who doesn’t is going to turn into a huge deal” is pretty much my exact words at that time. To then see it all play out exactly as I’d predicted was horrifying.
From my perspective as someone who deals with risk, I believe that the risk from Covid has been magnified to an excessive degree. They’ve combined this approach with a suppression of treatments that work, and the provision of a new treatment that doesn’t - the vaccines. All in the name of the almighty dollar, and people’s health be damned. Here in Western Australia our tendency to be behind on all the latest trends was a boon for me, I got to sit back and watch how the rest of the world dealt with this risk before I had to make any crucial choices myself.
The approach has been staged and hysterical to say the least, possibly the worst way to deal with risk anyone can imagine. Worse still, many of my fellow risk practitioners don’t see this and agree the risk is severe, even when all the facts say it isn’t. Well, all I can say is that there are going to be some very meek and sheepish risk practitioners in a few years, I will not be letting them forget how wrong they were, I can assure you!
But wow, the hate about the vaccines, that’s what really tipped it for me. What was supposed to be a health break for me turned into a full-blown war against hate. There’s no way I could see the things I’ve seen, seen the people I thought I respected say such terrible things, and not stand up. There was never a question.
I did wonder for a while - is humanity even worth trying to save? Maybe I should just try to quietly live out my own life and not worry about any of this? After all, I don’t have kids, I don’t have a lot of stake in the future, personally. I could just pretend to comply and try to fly under the radar with my views.
The thing that tipped me was when I was in a very dark mood about humanity, I found myself going out to exercise more (my usual approach to severe depression). What I instantly noticed is that the hate online out there is not really matched by what I experienced when I went to the park. All you beautiful people, so much kindness shown to me, all the positivity. It always seems to happen when I’m at my lowest, people just come up to me and are…wonderful. Seriously, I love people. I know there are some bad eggs out there, but by and large humanity is just beautiful.
So I’ve done what I think is right. I’ve stood up on the only social media platform I’m part of, and tried to be a (loud) voice for what is right. I’ve gone to almost all of the protests, I’ve engaged with my community, I’ve made many new friends and I’ve shared what’s in my heart out there online in an effort to inspire/draw response from people. For that I’ve been vilified, punished, de-platformed and so on. That’s OK, I accepted that was going to be part of this when I started it, I’m not stupid.
After all, all the big tech companies are part of the problem we’re fighting. Standing up and doing what I think is right is basically defying them. Of course they don’t like that.
But I see a few problems emerging with my presence on LinkedIn generally.
First of all, I’m shadowbanned so hard it’s ridiculous. There’s stuff running on my account that makes LinkedIn very painful to use these days. I’m sure it’s not an accident. A lot of core functionality that used to be available to me just doesn’t work at all anymore. e.g. if you have a chat with me, it’s permanent, I can’t delete them, I haven’t been able to delete a chat-thread for a long time
What that means is that I see that I’m operating in an echo chamber. To a degree I measure my success on LinkedIn by the number of dissenting opinions I draw in. It’s nice to get validation and all, but I’m not really trying to reach people who already agree with me, that’s just preaching to the converted. What I’m trying to do is provoke discussion with people who don’t agree with me, and at least have a conversation where even if we continue to disagree, I’m hoping the other party is at least walking away thinking “I totally disagree with that guy, but he still seems like a good bloke.”
On that metric, I’m no longer being very successful at all. Oh I get quite a few likes and all that, but the discussion has really degraded. Not only that, I’ve had discussions with people that have disagreed where we can’t even have that discussion without LinkedIn stepping in and censoring our comments. It just makes adult discussion almost impossible at times. You always have to talk in code, and even then, the banhammer may come down.
Secondly, it’s having real-world negative impacts on my situation at the moment. I wouldn’t mind getting working again, it seems silly to let a LinkedIn account ruin that.
I’ve been giving my vocation a lot of thought, in fact. I’m not sure if the insurance world is ready for the return of the custard tart, given my recent experience. I know that’ll change in time, but for now, it seems the odds are very stacked against me. Is this a cross-road, or simply a speed-hump? I guess time will tell.
I also know that my activity on LinkedIn has attracted the scrutiny of players I really don’t want scrutinising me. Enough said.
Thirdly, it’s impossible to know how to stay within their guidelines anymore. I’ve had numerous discussions with them about this, and the fact is they can’t even tell you. So you just get hit with arbitrary bans and deletions etc. From my perspective the censorship on there has ramped up so badly that the only way to make sure I didn’t get another ban is to just not post anything at all.
In that context, what’s the point of me being on there? I can’t say my piece, my stuff just gets deleted all the time, I have real-world negative impacts and scrutiny from it, and I’m operating in an echo chamber anyway.
I’ve noticed when I see other people using LinkedIn they do not have the same problems I do. I have no doubt that is due to the nature of posts I’ve made in the past and the scrutiny I’m subject to.
Finally, when I left my job, I had a mission - to work on my physicality to the ends of arriving in a better place physically and mentally and undoing some of the damage done over the previous years.
I realised recently that I’ve taken my eyes off this ball again, again to my own detriment. I did have an injury recently that set me back quite a lot (it’s still healing too), but still, I really need to focus back on my own well-being again.
So I’m spending time on that. I’m spending every day going to the park and exercising until I can barely stand, then coming home to rest and do gardening and basically spend the maximum amount of time looking at things like plants, and puddles of sweat, not screens and comments threads. I’m spending time consciously staying away from online battles and wars. I’ve done a lot in this area, it’s the right time for me to take a break.
Once my situation improves, and maybe (haha) LinkedIn relax their rules a bit and allow some free and open discussion on the death-shots (uh I mean vaccines), it might be worth my while engaging again. Until then I just see me going around in the same pointless circles again, to my own detriment. I’m not interested in that.
So until then I’m going to have to pass the baton on to those of my friends on LinkedIn who are also on my substack. Please feel free to let people know that I’ve decided to take a step back from the online warring on LinkedIn, and that I’ll probably be back once there’s a little more truth accepted out there.
I’ll be contributing something on substack occasionally, when I see something significant is happening. But my daily monitoring and reporting in is something I’m moving on from for now, to focus back on my own well-being.
If you’re in Perth, you’re welcome to stop by for a chat, I’m at Jacob’s Ladder every weekday morning from about 8am. I’m the big scandinavian looking chap generating a lot of sweat, please feel welcome to say hello (and if I don’t react please understand sometimes I’m so absorbed in it that I don’t notice much).
I would actually urge everyone to do something similar. The censorship online is at fever-pitch. The next phase is about to begin. Things are likely get physical/real in a way they haven’t, up ‘til now.
It's time to start preparing, if you haven’t already. Get yourself in decent physical condition, get the gear/equipment you know you’re going to need in a survival situation, and get ready.
When the wave hits, no matter how much preparation you’ve done, you’ll be wishing you’d done more.
Hard training, easy battle, they say. Well, I don’t think this will be an easy battle, even if you train hard.
But you might survive.