It may seem melodramatic to declare it, but I knew this was coming. The previous 48 hours had seen the removal of two good colleagues on LinkedIn, Cezary Bednarski and Neil Trevitt, both passionate fighters against this misgovernment's many misdeeds, as I have tried to be alongside putting up the usual musical and cultural posts/links. So the writing was on the wall.
I wouldn't claim that LI itself is being politically selective in whom it targets; its AI is very random, a failure I've already highlighted here (when I threatened to leave and couldn't keep it up). But there has clearly been an invasion of right-wingers trying to shut down commenters they don't like. It's quite easy to do. I have in the recent past reported ad hominem attacks, and I make sure not to do them myself (there is a difference between implying that someone has made idiotic comments and saying 'you're an idiot'). But to distinguish the present government from previous Conservatives, I label them the 'Torons', which might be cause for complaint among lily-livered crypto-fascists.
I've also been trying to wage a battle against anti-vaxxer misinformation, and one of those offenders might have taken exception to my linking to and quoting from an article on AlJazeera which calls them 'the callous cretins who kill'. I'd say that LI deals with about one in 10 clear transgressors when reported. I would have made enemies there too.
Why do this on a site which is supposedly for business contacts? Because I believe it's all connected. I do the work stuff there too, the shop-window 'look at this' links to reviews and blog posts, as well as the support for musical organisations when their posts come to my attention. And I value the exchanges I've had on LI, how much I've learned from what other people draw attention to.
At the same time it's taking concentration away from a lot of what I should be doing (like writing Volume Two of my Prokofiev biography). I have the emails of some of the people I value on there, so we can stay in touch. Am I going to try and get back in when the LI stasi don't even give a reason for the dismissal? No. Submit passport details? Really? No thanks*.
So it's goodbye to the only form of social media I use. I find myself quite indifferent about no longer being able to access the site; but I'm furious that some political bully has forced me off. Let's see what my pals proceed to do on there - they'll let me know.
*UPDATE (17/10) - my LI friend Willemijn Heideman suggested a simple form I could use, bypassing the document-furnishing**. And now, having been kicked off with no explanation, I've been reinstated with no explanation. As I commented below, I won't be using the site much, if at all.
**It turns out that didn't get me back on as three days later I was asked to give a screenshot of the issue. Possibly canvassing on the site linking to LI did it for me.