How to block and report inappropriate contact on LinkedIn
Block and Report if you are you hassled on LinkedIn
A high number of women have concerns about posting their career histories onto online platforms. As LinkedIn grows to become a massive global online professional platform, many women (and men) are confused about the dos and don'ts of social media etiquette. The number of fake profiles on the platform is increasing daily. With any activity which is regulated by exception (you have to complain for a profile to be reviewed by LinkedIn staff) inappropriate messages are on the rise.
The situation is compounded by mixed messages from LinkedIn itself, who exhort you to only connect with people you know. They do this at the same time as proffering a list of people you've never clapped eyes on, asking you if you do know them and suggesting you connect.
On top of this, there are thousands of self-styled LinkedIn trainers, coaches and specialists who also offer contradictory instructions about the criteria you should employ with regard to LinkedIn usage. [Tweet "With 400 million members, even 1% of misuse generates a massive nuisance factor."] Read Enough already. Fake LinkedIn profiles damage the network.
My own position is, as a head hunter I do contact and connect with people I don't know. I had a premium membership which I cancelled recently because of the level of inappropriate activity on the platform including a deluge of "glamour" images. My approach is always professional, personalised and correct.
Where do inappropriate messages come from?
- people confusing LinkedIn with an online dating site. Go and join Match.com
- shady financial types pitching all sorts of deals, usually involving an unknown dead family member's will, dodgy business investments and pension arrangements
- [Tweet "•scantily clad women pimping their usually generous assets for publicity"]
- men sharing aforesaid images, not realising that their entire network can see their indiscreet comments on photos of women young enough to be their daughters, because they haven't adjusted their privacy settings. It looks good for their teams doesn't it?
- spam selling, from users who haven't read your profile, offering services on another continent. [Tweet ""No you can't valet my car in Idaho - I'm based in Brussels, Belgium!""]
This type of contact is cited as a major drawback by women and has become a deterrent to joining online professional networks or engaging once they are there. Many are concerned about the downsides of putting their full career and professional credentials in the public domain and also their photos. However there are possible protective measures to deal with any unwanted attention. Allowing these concerns to limit their professional networking, could ultimately impact their careers.
[Tweet "It is important to understand what protective actions can be taken."]
Sometimes I just send a firm email to manage expectations and the person doesn't bother me again. But the volume of incidents has increased to such an extent I am taking a much tougher stance.
LinkedIn offer a number of possibilities
Remove the connection
For minor irritations I just remove the connection.
Block the connection
For any inappropriate contact I now always block and/or report.
To block a member from viewing your profile:
- Go to the profile of the person you'd like to block.
- Note: After you block someone, you will disappear from the Who's Viewed Your Profile section of the person you blocked.
- Move your cursor over the down arrow next to the button in the top section of the member's profile and select Block or report from the list.
When you Block a person:
- You won't be able to access each other's profiles on LinkedIn
- You won't be able to message each other on LinkedIn
- If you're connected, you won't be connected anymore
Note: They currently don't offer the ability to block members from mobile devices. Follow the steps above to block a member from your desktop.
Once you've blocked a member, they'll appear on your blocked list. The blocked member won't receive any notification of this action. You can block up to 50 members on LinkedIn.
To unblock a member
You can unblock a member, but this seems a bit pointless to me. [Tweet "Is there a LinkedIn rehab?"] What happens with repeat or serial offenders? But here are the instructions anyway.
- Move your cursor over your profile photo in the top right of your homepage and select Privacy & Settings.
- You may be prompted to sign in to your account.
- Click Manage who you're blocking who you're blocking at the bottom of the Profile tab under Privacy Controls.
- From your blocked list, find the person's name and click Unblock.
- You can't block a member again within 48 hours of unblocking them.
- Unblocking a member doesn't restore a connection if you were previously connected. If you'd like this person to join your network again, you'll have to send them a new invitation to connect.
- Blocking a member will permanently remove their endorsements and recommendations from your profile. If you'd like their endorsement or recommendation again, you'd need to unblock the member, send a new invitation to connect, and request a new endorsement or recommendation. Member blocking is currently only available from a desktop computer.
Request a review
My own feeling is that LinkedIn should be more stringent with regard to regulations governing the setting up of profiles and make it harder for fakes to join. If airlines can make it impossible to submit something without all fields being complete, I'm sure it's within the skills of LinkedIn programmers. This could well make fake profiles more sophisticated, but it may get rid of the completely crass.
I sent a profile for review yesterday where:
- there was a group photo of a man with three children (should never have been approved)
- the name was female
- the summary bore no relationship to the profile content
So if you are hassled on LinkedIn - just do it! Block and report.
Deal with your stream
Footnote: there is now a tab to hide or report unwanted material from your steam. You can find this in the upper right hand corner of an update. There is a tiny arrow. You can opt to un-follow the person who posted the comment, report the update or hide it from your stream. I have just discontinued updates from a dating site masquerading as lonely hearts relationship advice from a "love doctor." I also use this to deal with the flood of seductive images. Read: Sex sells even on LinkedIn and Why I've #LinkedOff with LinkedIn
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