Microsoft has come under fire in recent weeks for their censorship in favour of the Chinese government. Originally, the company was hiding images of the famous Tiananmen Square Tank Man image on Bing. Now, that censorship has spread to the networking website LinkedIn.
Just over a month ago, Bing users discovered that iconic images of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests were hidden from users. The image, which depicts a protestor obstructing tanks ordered to break up protesters, has been heavily censored in China. Unfortunately, events are escalating on Microsoft’s platforms.
Microsoft's LinkedIn censorship
On the 32nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre, Bing users discovered that images of the event were undiscoverable. Furthermore, other search engines that rely on Bing's engine, such as DuckDuckGo, were also hiding the same content. Just one month later, Microsoft is doing similar things with LinkedIn.
Reported by MSPoweruser, Cybersecurity researcher Kevin Beaumont discovered that LinkedIn is actively hiding specific profiles from China. If any content on your profile references Tiananmen Square, then it'll become invisible to Chinese viewers.
Beaumont explained that he has already mentioned the incident on his LinkedIn. The account was shadow-banned in China. “This genuinely works by the way, I've done it,” he wrote on Twitter.
They send you an email
Mentioning Tiananmen Square on your LinkedIn profile result in an email from Microsoft. The email, which attempts to be apologetic, explains that they “strongly support freedom of expression". However, they also explain that they “need to adhear to the requirements of the Chinese government".
Microsoft states that profiles mentioning the event have the "presence of prohibited content". As such, your profile will not be viewable in China. The email states that they will "work with you to minimize the impact and can review your profile’s accessibility within China".
The rest of the letter reads"
"In February 2014, we began offering a localized version of Linkedin in China. We believe that peoble everywhere can benefit from Chinese individuals connecting with each other and Linkedin members in other parts of the world, and that the creation of economic opportunity can have a profound impact on their lives and the lives of their families and communities.
While we strongly support freedom of expression, we recognized when we launched that we would need to adhere to the requirements of the Chinese government in order to operate in China. As a reminder, your profile will remain viewable throughout the rest of the countries in which Linkedin is available.”