EXCLUSIVE — A top Republican has become the first member of Congress to call out LinkedIn, the only major American social media platform that operates in China, for censoring American users on behalf of the ruling Communist Party.
Rep. Jim Banks, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee in Congress, sent a letter Friday to Microsoft-owned LinkedIn, criticizing them for bowing down to the Chinese government by blocking the profiles of Americans who refer to the Asian superpower in a critical fashion.
There are at least 100 Americans whose LinkedIn profiles have anecdotally been found to have been banned by China in the past few months for allegedly anti-China content in the "Education" or "Experience" sections of their LinkedIn profiles.
However, thousands have likely been banned, according to an initial analysis by Dan Gainor, vice president at the Media Research Center, a conservative media watchdog that tracks censorship on Big Tech platforms.
“LinkedIn is pressuring U. S. citizens to remove posts critical of China’s dictatorship because, apparently, ‘regional laws’ compel them to do Xi’s bidding,” Banks told the Washington Examiner.
“That’s a lie — LinkedIn is simply selling out America’s values and national security in order to boost its bottom line. LinkedIn needs to pick a side. Either serve the Communist Party or support the United States,” Banks added.
Banks also said Chinese spies use LinkedIn to recruit U. S. sources, which is illegal in America, but he said it wasn’t clear if LinkedIn was proactively trying to stop this from happening while working directly with the Chinese Communist Party on their censorship needs.
Banks wants LinkedIn to answer his questions in regards to their censorship, asking them in the letter which CCP speech regulations LinkedIn enforces on American users and asking the company if it has ever handed over user data requested by the Chinese government.
China blocked Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter starting in 2009, and Google withdrew from China in 2010 over Chinese censorship and intellectual property theft by the Chinese government.
This makes LinkedIn and its parent company Microsoft the only major American social media company to operate in China and comply with its government's harsh censorship rules.
Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, operates in China in... (Read more)
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