LinkedIn may have a reputation as the professional social network, one that can help you find work. But it also has ties to an anti-Trump activist who spent millions to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020. Major Democratic donor Reid Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn. He actively campaigned against Trump in 2019 and called him “worse than useless” as president. Hoffman also gave $100,000 to an organization that used fake social media accounts to manipulate an Alabama special election.
Seen in this light, it makes conservatives’ claims that LinkedIn hid their posts far more plausible. In 2020, leaked audio of a conversation with LinkedIn leaders about Trump revealed the company is willing to “restrict speech” it deemed “incitement to violence.”
One of the company’s most controversial decisions came when it chose profits over freedom by agreeing to censor content in China in 2014 to operate in the communist country. Even while it agreed to censor its platform in China, LinkedIn Executive Chairman Jeff Weiner claimed, “LinkedIn strongly supports freedom of expression and fundamentally disagrees with government censorship.”
Hoffman and four others in Silicon Valley founded LinkedIn in 2003. Microsoft bought the company in 2016 for $26 billion, but the companies say it functions as an independent entity. A year later, Microsoft added Hoffman to its board. The network has roughly 822 million global users.