The US giant has been accused of agreeing to censorship of American journalists in order to do business in China. In this case, a parliamentary inquiry can be started against American companies Microsoft and LinkedIn. Republican Senator Rick Scott, in a letter to both companies, has asked them to respond to the LinkedIn issue. Microsoft is the owner of the LinkedIn Company.
LinkedIn informed US journalists this week that their accounts would no longer be accessible in China. The company told those journalists that there was ‘restricted content’ on their account. Journalists who received the notices include Melissa Chan of Vice News, freelance reporter Greg Bruno, and website Axios.com reporter Bethenny Allen-Abrahimians. These three journalists have been told that they are critical of China on the issue of human rights abuses.
Senator Scott wrote in his letter- ‘I am deeply concerned that an American company acting on behalf of the Communist Party of China is censoring American journalists.’ The letter has been sent to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky. Scott has said – ‘Members of the media provide such information in their reports that helps the American public and lawmakers to understand the extent to which human rights abuses happen in Communist China. Those reports give information about how Uighur Muslims are monitored, especially in Xinjiang province.
Scott wrote – ‘The censorship of these journalists raises serious questions about Microsoft’s intentions and its commitment to stand up to Communist China.’ On the other hand, Jim Blanks, a member of the Republican Party’s House of Representatives, has separately sent a letter to LinkedIn. It strongly criticized the company’s decision to censor American journalists.
According to experts, LinkedIn is one of the few American social media companies that are allowed to do business in China. Now it has decided to censor the reporting of activities that the Chinese government considers subversive. LinkedIn has profiles of countless academics, researchers, government employees, and others from around the world. The purpose of this site is to facilitate those people to make contact with each other.
According to analysts, LinkedIn has now joined the big companies that have agreed to censor content according to the demands of the Chinese government. Suzanne Nossel, CEO of Pen America, an organization working for freedom of writing, said in a statement issued on this incident – ‘If LinkedIn’s behavior is allowed to normalize, it will send a message to companies around the world that China’s censorship will be banned. Accepting the demands doesn’t make any difference. LinkedIn had sent an e-mail to reporters on September 27 last year.