LinkedIn Will Restrict Content Deemed Violent or False, Including From Trump

General counsel Blake Lawit revealed the policy during a forum on racism

trump and the linkedin logo
Donald Trump does not have much of a presence on LinkedIn. LinkedIn, Getty Images
Headshot of David Cohen

This week, leaked audio files of LinkedIn general counsel Blake Lawit made the rounds, in which he addressed how the professional network would handle content from President Donald Trump and other elected officials in cases where it could spur violence or contains misinformation.

Today, LinkedIn confirmed the authenticity of the audio, obtained by Patrick Coffee of Business Insider, which came from the same town hall meeting on racial inequity that went sideways when anonymous questions from some employees offended others.

During the event, a LinkedIn employee asked what would happen if Trump attempted to use its platform “in the way that he’s been leveraging Twitter and Facebook.”

That employee was likely referring to posts on both social networks last week regarding protests after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, following the use of excessive force by the police during an arrest.

The president used the statement “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” prompting Twitter to label Trump’s tweet for violating its rules on glorifying violence. Facebook, however, took no action on the post on its platform, angering many employees.

Lawit replied that no elected officials had violated LinkedIn’s rules to date, and that content on its platform tends to be more professional than that found on other social networks. “We have rules around harmful content, hate speech, misinformation, incitement to violence, and we don’t have different rules for politicians and members. So, if a leader, for instance, were to make a statement on our platform that violated our rules about inciting violence, then we would take action. We would restrict the speech.”

LinkedIn head of communications Nicole Leverich confirmed that determination in an email, saying, “We have clear policies and apply them consistently for everyone.”

Trump is nowhere near as active on LinkedIn as other social platforms. The Donald J. Trump for President Inc. page supporting his reelection campaign has just over 20,000 followers versus the president’s 81.8 million followers on his official Twitter account and over 29.8 million for his official Facebook page. The LinkedIn page had also not been updated in roughly three months; Trump does not have a personal LinkedIn account. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.