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Monday, October 17, 2016

LinkedIn: Not A Forum For Political Discussion?

During the course of publishing a post on LinkedIn on current affairs concerning India I had come across quite a few reactions and comments that made me a little inquisitive. Since the post involved a kind of political behaviour rampant in India and some issues regarding international diplomacy the discussion thus ensued veered towards politics. And yes, there came comments from different members or non-members vociferating that LinkedIn was not the right forum for politics.

Now, almost all will agree that LinkedIn is not a job portal notwithstanding the fact that a lot of HRD managers and recruiters regularly use this as a place for talent hunt. More truthfully, most of the members here are already employed—looking naturally for greener pastures. There are many commentators on LinkedIn who say that not having a profile here is a cardinal sin or even suicide in today’s times—no matter if you are employed or not. Therefore it is also agreed that this networking place is crucial for all across all sectors of the economy of the world. It is also likely to be agreed upon that LinkedIn is not Facebook, because in the latter only family albums are mostly appreciated and not views or articles or links.

LinkedIn is quintessentially meant for professionals. Now, the word ‘professional’ basically comes from ‘profession’ or the type and nature of work one is doing. In that sense everybody is a professional in his or her field that may range from business/marketing to filmmaking/media/writing. There is some scope for disagreement here concerning who is rightfully considered a ‘professional’, because the modern-day usage of the term signifies people who are expert, innovative and ruthless strategists. By this definition some get unfortunately excluded leading to separate terms like Army men, Policemen, Bureaucrats, Lawyers, Doctors, Journalists, Vendors and the like. It is not right at all not to call all these people professionals. However, the moot point here is that nowhere in this networking hub you find any bar on entry of anyone practising any profession. All people ranging across all professions have thus the right of entry and to express their opinions or give inputs about their expertise on their specific fields on this forum.

You find a whole lot of groups too in LinkedIn on various subjects of interests, and experts say that formation of groups indicates higher levels of maturity among members. Groups on movies discuss even film reviews while groups on books discuss literature or highlight book releases. So it is either already there or hugely possible that a group of media personnel is also formed giving a layman’s analysis of political developments leading to a most productive discussion. Would this forum restrict such activities as not ‘right’ for the forum?

As a terrific innovation LinkedIn also offers you to write and publish your posts here and the Pulse may very well put you in a highly interactive platform, making you famous for your writings alone. Now, members of various professions would obviously write about their fields of expertise, and therefore, you must expect a wide variety in the type and nature of posts. Personally speaking, I was delighted having this platform and started writing on all fields of my interests. Of course, most of my writings on subjects like Cricket or Sports, Humor, Fiction, Movies or so on got totally ignored. Okay no problem in that, but nobody objected to such content as not being right for the forum. More interestingly, my few posts on content that involved current affairs and bits of politicking earned maximum views.

I would like to put in perspective, therefore, why politics is being singled out and considered as anathema for LinkedIn. When one lives in one’s country one cannot ignore political developments of that country or for that matter international events too, because only we talk of the global economy. God forbid, in the event of wars or extreme tensions breaking out involving several countries all professions or professionals of those countries would be severely impacted irrespective of whether it is business/marketing or anything else.


As an afterthought, there is no disclaimer or anything of that sort on the website of LinkedIn discouraging or barring entry of politicians into its fold! 
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