Home U.S LinkedIn reinstates post by Air Force vet who said 'I'm not responsible...

LinkedIn reinstates post by Air Force vet who said 'I'm not responsible for your college debt'

91
0


LinkedIn has apologized for deleting a post by a conservative Air Force veteran extolling the virtues of hard work and refusing to take responsibility for others’ student debt, as the Biden administration considers wide-scale loan forgiveness.

Gretchen Smith, 49, shared a post across her social media accounts Thursday featuring a photo of herself in uniform alongside a more recent shot.

‘I am not responsible for your student debt. I grew up in poverty in the mountains of NC. Ate from a garden, name was on community Angel tree for Christmas, bought clothes from yard sales & if I was lucky, on a rare occasion Sky City,’ she wrote, referring to a defunct chain of discount stores.

‘I joined the Air Force then went to college. I made it happen.’ 

The Microsoft-owned social network restricted her account and removed the post the same day, citing a violation of its ‘policy on hate speech,’ according to screenshots shared by Smith on Twitter.

The site apologized for the ‘mistake’ and reinstated her account after she appealed.

Smith, a Tennessee resident, runs the nonprofit Code of Vets to help veterans in times of crisis. 

The US has an average of $1.7 trillion in outstanding student loan debt. The Biden administration has paused repayments until August citing the ongoing pandemic.

Gretchen Smith, 49, had her post removed by LinkedIn after she published photos of herself in and out of uniform with the words, ‘I am not responsible for your student debt’ 

The nonprofit founder said she'grew up in poverty' but joined the Air Force, went to college and'made it happen' either way

The nonprofit founder said she ‘grew up in poverty’ but joined the Air Force, went to college and ‘made it happen’ either way

The Microsoft-owned social network told her the post violated its'policy on hate speech,' according to a screenshot she share on Twitter, where she also shared the original post

The Microsoft-owned social network told her the post violated its ‘policy on hate speech,’ according to a screenshot she share on Twitter, where she also shared the original post

Smith was livid when her seemingly innocuous post, which was also shared across Instagram and Twitter, was removed.

‘I was locked out of @LinkedIn just now for this exact post below. It went viral,’ she tweeted on Thursday. ‘

This is the second time this platform has targeted me. I am frustrated and disappointed. Freedom of Speech has been secured by our blood, sweat and lives. This has got to stop.’

Speaking to Fox News, she recounted her childhood and stood by her message.  

‘Americans do not want to see student debt wiped out,’ Smith said. ‘It’s not going to do them a service. It’s actually going to harm them.

‘If you work hard and you’re consistent and you’re persistent, you can make it.’

She believes she was targeted for her conservative beliefs.

‘I’m not seeing Democrats being censored. I’m seeing conservatives censored. They’ve got 100 percent control over our freedom of speech right now on these platforms, and I find that to be very scary.’

Smith, who calls herself a'social media influencer,' is the founder of Code of Vets, an organization that aims to provide'immediate intervention for veterans in crisis'

Smith, who calls herself a ‘social media influencer,’ is the founder of Code of Vets, an organization that aims to provide ‘immediate intervention for veterans in crisis’

Smith was'frustrated and disappointed' when her seemingly innocuous post, which was also shared across Instagram and Twitter, was removed

Smith was ‘frustrated and disappointed’ when her seemingly innocuous post, which was also shared across Instagram and Twitter, was removed

The social media site eventually reinstated her account after she appealed. It also offered to help'consolidate' her duplicate profiles and encouraged her to make a non-personal page for Code of Vets

The social media site eventually reinstated her account after she appealed. It also offered to help ‘consolidate’ her duplicate profiles and encouraged her to make a non-personal page for Code of Vets

Smith founded the nonprofit Code of Vets. The organization aims to ‘provide immediate intervention for veterans in crisis, at-risk and/or in need,’ according to its website.

On social media, Smith shares screenshots of donations sent to veterans across the country in the amounts of $1,000, $1,400 and up to $5,000. 

She says she ‘grew up with nothing,’ with her family living out of a ‘garden’ and buying clothes in ‘yard sales.’  

‘When you’re handed something and you do not earn it, you don’t take care of it. You don’t nurture it. You don’t appreciate it as much,’ she told Fox News. 

‘We really, really struggled just to survive day to day,’ she added. ‘I knew as I was growing up, I wanted to better my life.’

Smith posted her message refusing to take responsibility for others’ student loans on Thursday, but it was deleted the same day. She appealed, and the post was reinstated on Sunday. 

She says she'grew up with nothing,' with her family living out of a'garden' and buying clothes in'yard sales'

She says she ‘grew up with nothing,’ with her family living out of a ‘garden’ and buying clothes in ‘yard sales’

On social media, Smith shares screenshots of donations sent to veterans across the country in the amounts of $1,000, $1,400 and up to $5,000 as part of her nonprofit's efforts

On social media, Smith shares screenshots of donations sent to veterans across the country in the amounts of $1,000, $1,400 and up to $5,000 as part of her nonprofit’s efforts

‘We confirmed your content does not violate our policies,’ a LinkedIn rep told Smith. ‘We apologize for the mistake, your content is now back on LinkedIn.

‘We recognize there may be times when we don’t get it right and we offer the option to appeal a decision if you feel content was removed in error,’ the rep added. 

Her account had also been restricted because she was posting on her personal page as opposed to a page dedicated to her organization, LinkedIn said.

‘We give several notifications to members to update their account to comply with our User Agreement ahead of any action taken from our end including restriction. The member in this case changed their personal account profile name to Code of Vets,’ the website told DailyMail.com in a statement.

LinkedIn also offered to help her ‘consolidate’ her duplicate personal accounts. The reinstated post still appears on her personal page. 

The debate over whether to cancel student loans is still raging inside the Biden White House. 

On Wednesday, Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked whether the president has ‘ruled out a possible executive-level cancellation on a wide-scale of student debt.’

Psaki said: ‘He has not ruled out, but I don’t have any update on that.’ 

That same day, Biden had announced that the federal government will be extending its pause on student loan repayments through August 31.

Progressive Squad member Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been among the most prominent voices in Congress pushing for Biden to cancel federal student loan debt

Rep. Ayanna Pressley released an analysis that claims $85 billion would be taken out of the US economy each year if the payments were restarted

Progressive Squad members Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (left) and Ayanna Pressley (right) have been among the most prominent voices in Congress pushing for Biden to cancel federal student loan debt

It came as progressives continue to put pressure on the White House to cancel college debt altogether, while Republicans criticize the moratorium as an ‘insult’ to taxpayers. 

It was due to end on May 1, but officials are seeking to give Americans a few more months of relief as the economy continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and while the cost of consumer goods continues to climb to record highs. 

‘Today, I am announcing my administration is extending the pause on federal student loan repayments through August 31st of 2022,’ the president said in a recorded video statement.

‘I know folks were hot hard by this pandemic. And though we’ve come a long way in the last year, we’re still recovering from the economic crisis it caused.’

Biden added that the extension ‘will help Americans breathe a little easier as we recover and rebuild a little from the pandemic.’

According to the latest statistics, 45 million US borrowers owe $1.7 trillion of student loans, Forbes reports.



Previous articleChris Sutton: Chelsea can't afford to let Benzema wreak havoc again… plus they must unleash Timo
Next articleI found a naked video of myself getting a bikini wax on OnlyFans – I was furious by my technician’s response

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here