LinkedIn apologizes for calling vet’s post ‘hate speech’

LinkedIn reversed course on Monday and reinstated an Air Force veteran’s post about student loans and apologized for calling the innocuous statement “hate speech.”

“Freedom was secured with our blood, sweat, lives and tears,” said veteran Gretchen Smith, told Fox News. “Every American has a duty to protect our freedoms.”

She added, “I am grateful LinkedIn has reinstated our account. Now we can return to focusing on veterans in crisis or in need. »

Last week, Smith, founder of nonprofit Code of Vets, shared a post that encouraged people to get out of student loan debt.

“I am not responsible for your student debt,” Smith wrote in posts on LinkedIn and Twitter. “I grew up in poverty in North Carolina. I ate in a garden, my name was on a community angel tree for Christmas, I bought clothes at garage sales and if I was lucky, on a rare occasion, Sky City . I joined the Air Force and then went to college. I made it happen.

The message came after President Biden announced that federal student loan repayments would be suspended until August 31, extending the moratorium that was set to expire next month.

The Air Force vet was left baffled when the social media network deleted his post and restricted his account because, they said in a post, the missive “goes against our speech policy of hate”.

President Joe Biden recently announced that he would extend student loan repayments until August 31.
MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

“What did I do wrong?” Smith told Fox News last week. “I shared my story. That’s how I grew up. This is how I believe everyone is responsible for their own bills and payments, and I get punished for it. And I just find it unacceptable that Big Tech has that kind of power.

After Smith appealed LinkedIn’s decision, the company acknowledged the error and apologized.

“We have confirmed that your content does not violate our policies,” a LinkedIn representative told Smith in a message. “We apologize for the error, your content is now back on LinkedIn.”

Smith was pleased with the result and ready to continue her work to help other veterinarians.

LinkedIn did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post.

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