If I Can Spot a Fake LinkedIn Profile, Why Can’t LinkedIn?

If-I-Can-Spot-a-Fake-LinkedIn-Profile,-Why-Cant-LinkedIn-V2

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?

Better yet:

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?

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Neal Schaffer
The Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Maximize Social Business, Neal Schaffer is a leader in helping businesses and professionals strategically maximize their use of social media. Neal is the author of three social media books, including the recently published definitive social media strategy book Maximize Your Social. Forbes lists him as a Top 35 Social Media Power Influencer and AdAge lists his blog, Maximize Social Business (formerly known as Windmill Networking), as a top 100 global marketing blog. Neal provides social media strategy consulting and coaching, having worked with Fortune 500 companies and a Grammy-award winning musician. He has presented worldwide on social media at more than 150 events and also teaches social media marketing at Rutgers University. +Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

@nealschaffer

Author, @MaxYourSocial | Founder @msocialbusiness | Trilingual Social Media Strategy Consultant, Coach, and Speaker | 日米ソーシャルメディア専門家|G+: https://t.co/BqaJvubiP8
@OudWeth True true! - 3 hours ago
Neal Schaffer
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Comments

  1. dianawei says

    Wow!!! Didn't know there were fake LinkedIn accounts. I really like how you provided a picture for this blog – can really understand how you analyzed them to be fake. Some people must have some really advance bots, that or spend alot creating problems for society haha

  2. NothingMan says

    I've been wondering the same thing. My wife's previous employer created a fake profile and used it to find a reason to sue her. We even have testimony in court that the owner of the company created this fake profile to see what he could fine… LinkedIn has that testimony, and we've still heard nothing.

  3. dianawei says

    Yup, I guess I'm not on LinkedIn enough to tell the difference yet. As for Twitter, there are tonnnnnssss – many third parties hired by Amazon or others to post continuous sales and such. You're like an online sheriff if you can distinguish all this.

  4. says

    Twitter is extremely transparent, and the spammers are the ones sending the automatic direct messages and broadcasting their wares. On LinkedIn they are a little more sophisticated but are still there…

  5. dianawei says

    Yup, I guess I'm not on LinkedIn enough to tell the difference yet. As for Twitter, there are tonnnnnssss – many third parties hired by Amazon or others to post continuous sales and such. You're like an online sheriff if you can distinguish all this.

  6. says

    Twitter is extremely transparent, and the spammers are the ones sending the automatic direct messages and broadcasting their wares. On LinkedIn they are a little more sophisticated but are still there…

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