Wallace Dunn, an elected board member of the largest public hospital in West Texas, Medical Center Hospital, said he was repeatedly censored for weeks by the social media giant LinkedIn this past year after sharing posts that were deemed “misleading or inaccurate.”
His first two bans were both posts he shared relating to the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccine, which led to his first ban of four weeks and a second ban of six weeks.
One post was a link to a publication by the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons regarding early home-based treatment options for COVID-19.
Dunn isn’t sure what post he made that triggered his permanent ban because he says LinkedIn will not tell him. Instead, LinkedIn has told him he must log in to his account for information while blocking him from being able to log in.
“I not only use my account for important work-related purposes, but I represent a hospital that provides emergency services to a vast region of the Permian Basin,” Dunn told The Texan. “I have many constituents who follow me there and this ban hinders my ability to communicate with them.”
Dunn also explained the issue of “big tech” censorship is one that concerns him as a veteran. “I served 20 years in the U.S. Army defending our rights, and that includes our rights under the First Amendment to freedom of expression.”
Texas’ ban on social media viewpoint discrimination is presently on hold while it is reviewed before the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton recently filed a brief defending the law in another case.
“Texas passed HB 20 after numerous examples came to light where Facebook and other large social media platforms were shown to discriminate against users based on their users’ viewpoints,” Paxton’s brief reads. “Texas determined that this behavior rose to the level that it implicated the State’s ‘fundamental interest in protecting the free exchange of ideas and information’ within its borders.”
The Fifth Circuit upheld the law in September last year, but has placed a hold on it from going into effect while it is still under further appeal.
The Texan contacted LinkedIn for this story, but as of publication, it has yet to respond.
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Matt Stringer is a reporter for The Texan who writes about all things government, politics, and public policy. He graduated from Odessa College with an Associate Degree in Paralegal Studies and a Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Leadership. In his free time, you will find him in the great outdoors, usually in the Davis Mountains and Big Bend region of Southwest Texas.