The number of times I've seen people on my LinkedIn feed complain about political posts is shocking. Usually, I'll see the phrase "LinkedIn is for business. Keep politics on Facebook.", and I cannot disagree with that statement more. I think it's a misguided take that clearly doesn't understand the nature of a social media platform nor recognizes the large intersection of politics and business.
I usually hear these positions taken by people who don't agree with the political statements they see. They typically ignore the basic premise of all social media. Social media is all about sharing thoughts and ideas with those in your personal and professional networks. The democratic nature of social media allows the community, not the platform to dictate the conversation.
And beyond that, politics is business. Whether it's trade deals or taxation measures, good corporate leadership involves understanding the social and political environment of the markets you operate in. In terms of workforce empowerment, a company is only as healthy as its employee-base. When issues like racism, sexism, homophobia/transphobia, and other social issues permeate into our institutions, it affects worker health and productivity, thus hurting the company. Unless these issues are brought to people's attention in the context of business, they won't get addressed.
We're in a capitalist market economy that depends on letting the customer choose what to consume and how to consume it. If the user base of LinkedIn uses the platform to talk about political issues, they're free to do so. If the user base of LinkedIn uses the platform to talk about political issues, it's typically because they want to introduce those issues to their professional network and share how they are affected by them. It's probably in the best interest of those in power to listen and not criticize.
I do want to recognize that people are frustrated with the toxicity that is found on Facebook, especially around political posts. But I feel that you can have political discussions without losing civility as long as an effort is made by the user to discuss in good faith. LinkedIn fosters an inherent social pressure where colleagues and superiors are able to see your activity on LinkedIn, discouraging people from being explicitly toxic when making or responding to political posts.
I love LinkedIn. I think it's an amazing platform where I can learn from people I wouldn't be connected to otherwise. It allows me to develop my personal brand and that of the organizations I work with. LinkedIn has taught me a lot about professional success, and that's because of the diverse background of the people in my network. They all have unique thoughts about corporate culture, finance, digital marketing, nonprofit impact, and yes, politics.
LinkedIn posts, whether political or not have helped me be a leader in my professional community and it hasn't been in spite of but rather because of the freedom people have to share what's on their minds.