LinkedIn testing feature that allows users to block political content from newsfeed

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(Video Credit: The Wall Street Journal)

Employment-focused social media platform LinkedIn announced on Wednesday that it is testing a feature that will allow users to block political content from their newsfeed with the click of a button to fend off so-called misinformation and polarization.

LinkedIn CEO Ryan Roslansky told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that the network determines a post’s political content via its “editorial team,” “semantic classifiers,” and community feedback.

“If they find it effective, if it’s helping them better accomplish what they’re trying to accomplish on LinkedIn, then we’ll roll it out to more,” Roslansky remarked regarding the new feature.

“Currently, political content includes content such as political parties and candidates, election outcomes, and ballot initiatives. We’re continuing to test and gather member feedback about the types of political content they prefer to see less of on LinkedIn. Over time, based on member feedback, we may further develop the feature and expand it to more regions and languages,” according to LinkedIn’s support website.

The feature being tested is currently only available to a small group of users according to Roslansky. But, the social media platform plans on expanding the feature based on how well-received it is. LinkedIn claims it added the feature after users sent the company feedback claiming that political content has “hampered” their experience on the platform.

Users on social media, in general, have become frustrated with the never-ending stream of political fodder that hits their feeds. A 2020 Pew Research Center survey revealed that 55 percent of Americans are simply “worn out” by political posts and discussions.

“This is all about giving all of our members greater choice and control,” a spokesperson for LinkedIn told the Washington Examiner in an interview.

“We are always testing and will continue to try new ways for our members to control their experience as they come to LinkedIn for a variety of reasons – job seeking, learning about a new topic or industry, or staying connected with others. As part of this our members can control what they see on LinkedIn, they can follow or unfollow people, companies, and hashtags. We also recognize that different groups of members are using our platform in different ways. This is all part of why we’re testing a new setting to allow our members in the U.S. to hide political content in their feed that they don’t want to see,” the spokesperson added.

LinkedIn described the new option as yet another tool for controlling the content that users are subjected to in its newsfeed.

It’s unknown exactly how popular the feature will be, especially with other platforms brazenly censoring members and blocking free speech. Many on LinkedIn use political posts to stay abreast of current events but there are many out there who consider them an annoyance.

LinkedIn has a user base of 800 million currently and is a centralized hub for employers, job seekers, the government, and experts. Politics has never appeared to be a major challenge on the platform. However, it should be noted that LinkedIn is owned by the mother of all Big Tech, Microsoft.


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