WATCH: Air Force veteran silenced on social media, shares story of rising from poverty
Gretchen Smith spoke exclusively to Fox News after her organization’s LinkedIn account was disabled on Thursday
LinkedIn reinstated an Air Force veteran’s post and apologized after wrongfully accusing her of violating the platform’s hate speech policy.
“Freedom has been secured with our blood, sweat, lives and tears,” the veteran, Gretchen Smith, told Fox News. “Every American has a duty to protect our freedoms.”
“I am grateful LinkedIn reinstated our account,” she added. “Now we can resume focusing on veterans in crisis/need.”
Gretchen Smith joined the Air Force, rising from poverty to complete her college education
Smith on Thursday shared her story on LinkedIn about rising from poverty to holding four college degrees after serving in the Air Force. She wrote that she is “not responsible for your student debt.”
LinkedIn removed her post and restricted her account.
The post “goes against our policy on hate speech,” LinkedIn told Smith, according to a screenshot she shared.
Smith appealed, and LinkedIn reinstated the post.
“We confirmed your content does not violate our policies,” a LinkedIn representative told Smith in a message. “We apologize for the mistake, your content is now back on LinkedIn.”
Smith’s account, however, had been restricted because she was using a personal page rather than a group page for her nonprofit, Code of Vets, the LinkedIn representative said. The organization aims to use social media to help veterans in crisis or need, according to its website.
“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 representative said.
A LinkedIn spokesperson responded to Fox News with the same information 24 hours after being asked to comment.
“The profile name in this case doesn’t follow our policies and we can reinstate her account as soon as she’s made the adjustments to her profile,” the spokesperson, Greg Snapper, told Fox News.
Smith agreed to switch the page to a group account, and LinkedIn lifted the restriction.
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