It's probably not a conspiracy, probably

I am not a believer in conspiracy theories. Occam's razor states the simplest explanation is almost always the most likely. As a result this post is difficult for me to write, because honestly I’m actually struggling to believe the conclusions that might be drawn from it.

On Monday this week (June 13th) I wrote two stories. One was about the Polycom/Mitel merger and the other about the purchase of Linkedin by Microsoft.  I posted both to Linkedin, something I’ve done every week since starting Excession Events a little over a year ago.

A typical article receives anywhere between 50-500 views in the first day or so and within a week something like 300-3000. My highest tally ever is a little over 4000.

This week was different. The Linkedin / Microsoft article was repeatedly stated as having been deleted, likes, shares and views were not recorded. I thought perhaps there was a Malformed URL, or some other odd error. So I reposted the piece, it happened again, so I tried a third time, and it happened again. By this point I was becoming suspicious. I asked friends to like and share the article, specifically to see what happened. The answer was nothing, one of my Updates on this article has over 270 views, 12 likes and a bunch of shares, but none of this is recorded, and still people are struggling to find the article.

Everything I’m stating about the Linkedin piece, is in stark contrast with my experience with a piece I wrote about Polycom and Mitel on the same day. As you can see from the head of this article I received over 1400 views in four days. That’s fairly typical of one of my more popular pieces. I’m no Seth Godin, but I have a little over 2400 followers on Linkedin.

I have zero evidence there is a conspiracy, but I did want to share with the world that this can, as a minimum, be defined as odd. Anything after that is pure speculation.

This experience is however, somewhat sobering . If my little article is truly being suppressed, then what else is? This is my first personal experience with such things and I’ve found it disquieting. It will change where I post my materials, paranoia suddenly doesn’t sound quite so crazy after all.

I’m not important, my opinions won’t change the world, I wasn’t even negative about the deal, but press freedom does seem to be under attack globally, from the Washington Post / Trump issue, to the The Economist front cover last week about press freedom, to the supposed bias of Facebook against right wing ideas. We all rely on organizations we trust to give us the news to us. Episodes like this makes one consider again where one gets information and whom one should trust. Every one of us makes decisions, important decisions based on facts, as a result what facts we see and opinions we value matter.

One always has to remember that if the product is free, then you are the product. As a result of that, I’ve been a long time subscriber to The Economist, and recently signed up for The Washington Post. Ideas are important, if we expect to live in a free and open democracy then we owe it to ourselves to be educated about that society. I for one am increasingly choosing to pay journalists to give me that news without a sponsors filter. Not be a product to be sold to the highest bidder.

If you are interested in reading my blog where all my articles are posted, unmolested, please go to www.ExcessionEvents.com/blog.

About the Author: Simon Dudley

Simon is a contrarian. He makes a habit of being the guy who questions the orthodoxy, the guy who doesn’t believe it just because the good and the great said it’s true. This has not always been good for his ascent up the corporate greasy pole. However it’s been very good for his employers if they are prepared to listen.

The Book The End of Certainty "How to thrive when playing by the rules is a losing strategy" explains why groupthink and the doing what you’ve always done is no longer the right move.

The Excession Events Podcast is available on iTunes and Google Play

He is also a business speaker specialising in the transformation of business models.

To keep tabs on his work please follow him on: ExcessionEvent.com