The highly professional social network’s internal Wednesday town hall on racial injustice looked more like what you’d see in a Facebook comments section.
LinkedIn prides itself on being the highly professional, troll-free antithesis to all other social-media platforms. But on Wednesday, the company’s own internal meetings looked more like a “dumpster fire” Facebook comments section than anything on the company’s famously civil website.
Earlier this week, the career networking website announced that it would hold a virtual global town hall to address the nationwide social unrest sparked by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. The meeting was billed as an event to discuss racial inequality by “reflecting on our own biases, practicing allyship, and intentionally driving equitable actions.”
“We’ll spend most of our time together in open discussion, so please consider bringing questions or experiences you’d like to share,” read the invitation email to staff.
LinkedIn employees followed those instructions precisely. The results were a disaster.
Throughout the meeting, which was conducted by videochat and featured a sidebar where employees could leave comments, several anonymous staffers shared opinions echoing the detractors and skeptics of the Black Lives Matter movement. Several of these commenters criticized LinkedIn’s position on diversity hiring, equating such practices with racism against white people.
“As a non-minority, all this talk makes me feel like I am supposed to feel guilty of my skin color. I feel like I should let someone less qualified fill my position. Is that ok? It appears that I am a prisoner of my birth,” one commenter wrote. “This is not what Martin Luther King Jr. would have wanted for anyone.”
“I believe giving any racial group privilege over others in a zero sum game would not get any support by others. Any thoughts on hurting others while giving privileges with the rosy name called diversity?” read another employee comment.