LinkedIn Block User Feature: What It Means
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User Rank: Apprentice
3/26/2015 | 8:23:22 AM
Re: Your LinkedIn issues?

I wonder if you might consider a follow up to this article.

Anna Rihtar was right to push a reluctant LinkedIn into introducing this blocking feature. However, even at the time, many of us were concerned that 'anonymous' stalking was not specifically mentioned in Anna's petition, forcing LinkedIn to end or restrict anonymous browsing as well as harassment by 'known' stalkers.

As we feared, stalking has continued unabated on LinkedIn. Stalkers circumvent the blocking tool by using fake profiles, anonymous fake profiles, fake companies with fake company pages (which can direct targeted advertising at specific profiles).

Since Anna Rihtar's petition only seemed to address only part of the overall problem, new petitions have been launched on the anonymous views and fake profiles issues:

* Prohibit Anonymous Views Petition (Change)

* Universal Opt Out Petition - LinkedIn Do Not Permit (MoveOn):

* Fake Profiles Petition  LinkedIn Must aggressively Stop the Proliferation of Fake Profiles - (Change):

Privacy-protected snooping is an oxymoron. Snooping by wholly unaccountable, anonymous viewers with unknown motives and with whom it is impossible to even engage - let alone network - is in direct conflict with the core purpose of linking professionals to one another. The total cloak of invisibility that anonymity grants the miscreants, the malicious and the criminally-minded who must, by all reasoning, form part of a user community as large as 330 million+, must be rubbing their hands with delight at the inexplicable inertia on this important issue.

This "What Makes a Truly Great Product" article by LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner has a comment thread peppered with terse, withering, unforgiving accusations of blind hypocrisy linked to strong opposition to anonymity on LinkedIn:

This record-breaking first ever LinkedIn Pulse post by an anti-anonymity protestor (which breaks every single article publishing convention) heaps further humiliation on the LinkedIn's CEO's article by comprehensively trouncing the latter's comparatively modest views, comments and likes totals. This phenomenal article has managed attracted over ¼ of a million views. 12,400 (1 in 20) readers agreed with the anti-anonymity perspective of the article and "liked" it . 8,600+ people responded. 94% of the responses were "prohibit/ban/end/block anonymous views/viewers" or "I agree" (with the author)
Anonymous People Using LinkedIn (LinkedIn Pulse)

In other related developments, two high profile stalking victims had their movements tracked anonymously on LinkedIn.

Suzie (Wright) Dickard:

"When I first heard about LinkedIn being a professional networking site where people could connect in a way outside of the "social media" sites, offering a structured, contained, business atmosphere I welcomed that platform as a new business owner. Shortly after joining I would receive "anonymous views" and it made me uncomfortable, for lack of a better description. This was not Facebook, Twitter, etc. where you have no idea of who crosses through your "personal" profile on a daily basis and don't expect privacy. If someone wants to creep on your pages on those particular sites, they will find a way. But, here on LinkedIn, it caught me off guard. So, why is someone choosing to be anonymous?

Years ago I 'thought' I was communicating with a parent looking for a horse for their child. Truth be known, he was a predator and my life forever took a new path. Anyone can Google my name and see my story. Am I paranoid? I would say, I am cautious, more so than I ever thought I would have had to be. Joining LinkedIn and the professionalism it offered for growing my business was an important new chapter in my life."

Taylor Woolrich:

"He found me through LinkedIn, Facebook, everything. I tried to delete things, he still found me. He hired a private investigator. We don't know exactly where he gets his information, all I know is that when I returned home, after 18 months of not seeing this man, I got back to my parents' house at 1:30 a.m. flying in from Dartmouth and at 8:30 a.m. the next morning he was knocking on my front door," Woolrich detailed. "When he was arrested by the police, they found what they like to call a rape kit in the back of his car. It consisted of a sweatshirt, firewood, maps of the area, duct tape, a rope tied into a slip noose, hunting knives and various other items."

Meanwhile has been forced into humiliating concessions in a flurry of recent class action suits which call its ethics into question:

* LinkedIn E-Mail Labor Laws Breach Class Action Settlement:

* LinkedIn E-Mail Security Class Action Settlement:

* LinkedIn E-Mail Contact Harvesting/User Impersonation Class Action Proposed Settlement:

* Looks like yet another class action suit against LI

LinkedIn claims to operate a "Members first" core philosophy. Well, It looks like it might be time for some very serious rethinking on LinkedIn's part about its relationship with its users. The warning lies in the very steep and sudden descent into oblivion that bewildered former market leaders in the Search, Chat and Social Media sectors Excite, Bebo and Myspace experienced when Google, Twitter and Facebook emerged to blindside them by giving users better choices.
User Rank: Author
2/26/2014 | 3:27:57 PM
Outrage Answered
There was a lot of outrage among a small group of LinkedIn users who said they had been stalked, in part via LinkedIn, and this feature should eliminate that issue for them. I read many of these stories on the LI group Rihtar formed, and some were heartbreaking. Delighted LI finally put this into place -- although like everyone here, unsure why it took so long since most social networks have this capability. I can't imagine being stalked by a stranger through a business networking site. Whereas I could and would leave Facebook, leaving LI would damage my ability to do my job. And I'd resent it, as it's the person who's not in the wrong who's being penalized by being forced to leave. 
Drew Conry-Murray
Drew Conry-Murray,
User Rank: Ninja
2/26/2014 | 9:42:00 AM
Re: No brainer
I agree, this seems like a no-brainer. I wonder why it took so long to have it added.
User Rank: Author
2/25/2014 | 4:36:58 PM
No brainer
This kind of option seems like a no-brainer. Some people would ask, what held LinkedIn back from offering this sooner?
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Author
2/25/2014 | 4:32:17 PM
Re: Your LinkedIn issues?
I'm with you Kristin. I find it annoying when people who don't know me recommend me for some professional skill but I don't feel abused by LinkedIn. The social and promotional spam I get in my gmail inbox is much worse. At least Googel separates it now from my "primary" mail so I can ignore it!
Kristin Burnham
Kristin Burnham,
User Rank: Author
2/25/2014 | 1:30:29 PM
Your LinkedIn issues?
Have you had a situation where a blocking feature on LinkedIn would have come in handy? I've been bombarded before with annoying pitches from sales reps, but never to the extent that some people have experienced.

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