I was at a networking event last night where someone asked me if I was seeing more “spam” on LinkedIn. If you have been utilizing LinkedIn or Twitter for the last several weeks, you probably have noticed an uptick in the spam in any of the following ways:
- Twitter @Reply Spam
- Twitter Direct Message Spam
- LinkedIn Group Message Spam
- LinkedIn Group Discussion Board Spam
- LinkedIn Connections “opting-you-in” to Mailing List Spam
You will notice that, although LinkedIn considers the text of an invitation that you receive as a potential spam target and has decided to restrict everyone’s ability to put a URL in their invitation text, I do not think this is the issue. If you get spam for a LinkedIn invitation, you have the option to “Report as spam.” No, the problem is that people are joining LinkedIn (and Twitter) with the intent to spam you, and these people need to be rooted out of the system once and for all.
Twitter is taking matters into their own hand and has already went through times where they rooted out literally thousands of these spammers recently by disabling their accounts. Furthermore, in Twitter’s new Terms of Service Agreement, they point out that they will continue to disable the account of spammers looking at a number of different things, including how many people block the account, amount of automated tweeting, etc.
Now, if Twitter can do this, why can’t LinkedIn?
Yesterday I had another episode of receiving a stack of invites from a number of fake LinkedIn profiles. I have reported this to you all before and why fake profiles on LinkedIn exist. These people exploit the open networking movement and send invites to LIONs like myself. Which is why I and other open networkers are the perfect people to help LinkedIn police their membership.
But why can’t LinkedIn police their own membership?
The people that sent me invites, as you can see from the screen above (I have pixel-blasted out names but you should get the picture) are all people who work in the same industry, have the same company name (NAME and Associates), and have a remarkably similar number of connections, between 396 and 402. Doesn’t that strike you as odd? How do I report these people to LinkedIn?
If I Can Spot a Fake LinkedIn Profile, Why Can’t LinkedIn?
And isn’t it in LinkedIn’s best interest to root these people out of the system on behalf of its user community?