LinkedIn in turmoil after racist comments, company apologizes

The LinkedIn logo on mobile. – Denis Closon / ISOPIX / SIPA

A videoconference organized by LinkedIn on the theme of inequality racial slipped this Wednesday, according to the American site The Verge. During the meeting, some of the group’s employees used the anonymous comment function of the video chat to make “terrible” comments in the chat window.

Discussion of racial inequalities

This online meeting, open to LinkedIn employees around the world, however, started from a good intention: it was to address the issue of diversity within the company, in order to better combat prejudice . In one report published in 2019, the company said only 3.5% of its employees were black, compared to 47.5% white, 40.3% Asian and 5.9% Latino.

But during the meeting, some social media workers criticized the company’s efforts to diversify its workforce. “As a non-minority, all these discussions make me feel guilty about my skin color. I think I should let someone less qualified take over my job, “one wrote, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“Disturbing and Racist” Comments

“Blacks kill blacks 50 times more than whites kill blacks,” said another. These remarks scandalized the other employees of the group, who qualified them as “disturbing and racist”. In a context of high social tension, and as protests against police violence are increasing in the United States, the CEO of LinkedIn has had no choice but to apologize.

“We are not and will not be a business or platform where racism or hate speech is allowed,” said Ryan Roslansky, who replaced Jeff Weiner as CEO of LinkedIn earlier this week. The company said it would no longer allow anonymous comments at such meetings in the future.

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