New ‘Pronoun Button’ on LinkedIn Will Hasten Site’s Descent into Woke Irrelevance


by C.J. Strachan, Daily Sceptic:

LinkedIn was once a great idea, a global network for business professionals. However, like so many institutions, its embrace of ‘woke’ has turned it into a cross between a vapid corporate virtue signalling brochure, a digital maoist self criticism session and an enforcement arm of the mono politics of the modern management class. Its recent introduction of the ‘Pronoun Button’ is merely the latest step in its descent into irrelevance.

Back in my misspent youth I was a headhunter (Boo Hiss!), you know, one step up from the bottom of the pond Estate Agents. Headhunters do, however, provide a necessary service as very few executives have the time or the network to identify possible hires and, even if they do, it is often inappropriate to approach them directly. When LinkedIn was launched, to say I was an early fan would have been an understatement. I signed up – as it happens I am in the first 700,000 users of LinkedIn, which in the past this was a ‘thing to have’ because you’d get thrown nice badges and articles etc. rewarding your foresight and early adoption.


As a headhunter, LinkedIn was my principal tool. It allowed me to quickly form basic longlists of targets and allowed me to reach out to individuals. It wasn’t comprehensive and it had some problems, for example the more headhunters that cottoned onto it, the higher the volume of messages members would receive. Also, not everyone was on LinkedIn, especially in the then ‘non-digital’ sectors, so a lot of the job was still reliant on shoe leather and a strong liver for trawling the drinking haunts of the City and West End.

I stopped being a Headhunter in 2006 and moved into corporate HR, but LinkedIn remained a key tool because my job was then setting up in-house headhunting functions. But as I moved from the front line and climbed the greasy pole I became less and less hands on with LinkedIn, to the point where it now sits there on my smartphone, to be occasionally glanced at and then closed. Sometimes I will use it to reach out to a former colleague. What I rarely if ever do now is read the post stream on my account. This is because it is typically the same 100 of my network of several thousand and the content is all the same:

  • Corporate Virtue Signalling
  • Self congratulation
  • Tedious posts on DEI initiatives
  • Retirement photos
  • Tedious posts on DEI Initiatives
  • Awards dinners (usually for DEI Initiatives)
  • Tedious posts of DEI initiatives

Another type of post you get is far more amusing for aficionados of occupational psychology and 20th century totalitarian history because it can be described as “fear-laden Maoist self-criticism sessions”.

I’ll give you an example of one I came across recently. The poster is a senior sales executive at a publishing company. He’s white, middle aged, straight and male. Now for reasons that I won’t go into here I discovered that he’d screwed up at work. He’d essentially made one of his team redundant without following due statutory process, resulting in a substantial settlement agreement. The only explanation for this is incompetence, and he knew that HR was, rightly, after his balls on this one. The person he had fired was also a single female employee who had been thoroughly messed around the previous year by his ham-fisted management and which very nearly provoked an employment tribunal for discrimination; truth be told, there was a case.

However, like many organisations who tout their ‘woke’ credentials, there was a significant gap between its DEI policies and propaganda and the actual reality of working there. Anyway, in this instance, HR was concerned about his management of this individual and his broader understanding of his obligations to the business in compliance with employment law, all of which translates into costs and hefty compensation cheques. It’s amazing how concern for employees kicks in when money is involved.

So realising he had screwed up enormously, and that HR would be breathing down his neck, he jumped onto LinkedIn and wrote two of the most toe-curling vomit-inducing ‘Confessions’ around how he, a white, middle-aged, straight man had been ‘educated’ to wokeness by employing minorities in his team and listening to them, all of which encouraged him to be an ‘ally’. That DEI was front and centre in everything he did but it was a steep learning curve so please be patient to dinosaurs/reformed Nazis as they learn.

The posts elicited the desired responses from the usual crowd of enforcers who seem to spend their whole time on LinkedIn and doing very little actual work – along the “you’re so stunning and brave” lines. I couldn’t help noticing how many were from members of his team or fellow white, middle-aged, male, straight colleagues lauding his sensitivity and compassion.

I divined none of these things; all I saw was fear and desperation. I recalled those jolly incidents from Mao’s Cultural Revolution where the students would imprison, torture and beat their professors for the crimes of being, well, older and more experienced than they were, which was seen as ‘reactionary and imperialist’. The professors and teachers would be dragged out in front of the mob and publicly humiliated and beaten until they confessed and apologised for their ‘crimes’. This is exactly what I saw in his LinkedIn posts.

Anyway, believe it or not, his nauseating and transparent grovelling actually worked and I hear he’s been further promoted so now all of the company’s top brass are white, middle-aged, straight men!

A quick scroll through my feed showed me that the vast majority of posts of this type are made by white, middle class, male, straight executives and all have the whiff of desperation about them.

What you will never, ever see on LinkedIn is anyone voicing their actual opinion of such content, myself included. What you see instead is silence. Silence because they, like millions of others, have effectively ‘Facebooked’ the platform because there is nothing of value on it anymore, or because they are thinking “what a load of bollocks”, but know what will happen if they say what they think and therefore keep silent. The Emperor is Clothed! Nothing to see here! We’re winning the war Mein Führer! And other barefaced lies.

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