LinkedIn Account Restricted? You May Have Been Too Active on LinkedIn!

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Why has my LinkedIn account been restricted?

No, that is not a question that I personally asked recently, but one asked by someone in my network.  This is someone who is not a spammer, not even involved in marketing, and generally keeps a low profile on the social networking site.  This person is also not a LinkedIn LION and only has a few hundred connections.  Why was their account restricted?  For being too active!  And if you are not careful, your account may be suspended as well!  Here’s how:

The official response given by LinkedIn on why my friend’s account was suddenly suspended was:

We have recently noticed a large number of page searches and profile views through your LinkedIn account. We are aware that you may be using an automated or manual process to systematically view LinkedIn web pages.

The information within LinkedIn is provided by our users for usage on the site only. In order to protect user privacy, our User Agreement prohibits using:

1. Automated or manual means to view an excessively high number of profiles or mini-profiles.

2. Automated means to run searches to collect or store data obtained from our site.”

The funny thing is that my friend was not doing any of the above: They were merely taking advantage of the new LinkedIn feature to tag your connections by looking at the different options that existed and making sure that all connections had the proper tags on them.  Sure, it generated a lot of clicks, but it obviously was not even closely related to the activity that this person was accused to have been doing.

Why do I bring this up?

  • Anybody who is too “active” and generated a lot of clicks may have their account suspended with no warning.  If you want to do some research on the social networking site, do it over a few day period to spread out the clicks.  As you can see from the case study above, the number of clicks you generate are being monitored and not what specific activity you are doing, so anyone could be considered guilty of this.
  • You also want to avoid a suspension of your account for another important reason: it took customer service nearly two weeks to get back to my friend with their initial response.  That’s right, for two weeks my friend was in limbo and couldn’t access their account.  Can you live without access to your account for two weeks?  I’d go crazy!  And the potential opportunity loss for business is an issue that your company may have to face if you are getting business leads from LinkedIn.
  • This is a case where LinkedIn was being paranoid and automatically slapping the wrist of an innocent user.  Who knows what could happen to you?  Make sure you get into the habit of backing up your LinkedIn connections for these types of worst case scenarios.

This blog post is an example of an amazing Catch 22: LinkedIn wants us to be active on their site by introducing a lot of new features to us, but when we are too active we get penalized and have to deal with slow response times.  I hope you’ll agree in hoping that LinkedIn can:

  1. Create a better way of monitoring usage on their site so as not to penalize innocent people
  2. Give a warning before suspending someone’s account
  3. Be a little nicer in their communication instead of accusing someone that they are guilty and forcing you to prove your innocence (LinkedIn is an American company, right?)
  4. Be a little bit quicker in their response when an account has been suspended.  Two weeks is absurd.  Understanding that it requires money to hire customer support professionals and that priority is placed on paid accounts, at least trying to respond to suspended accounts within 72 hours would be ideal.

And there are apparently other reasons why your account may be suspended.  As I was writing this blog post, one of my blog readers sent me this message:

Neal, I am not sure how you were able to reach customer service at Linkedin. I have sent no less than 3 emails to customer service from my primary email address in the last 72 hours because they have restricted my account based on the number of people who have viewed my profile in the last week. This all occurred because I created a new group that has generated alot of interest and is adding members everyday at a high rate. The one phone number found…for customer service just leads to voice mail. So to my group members it appears that I have just abandoned the group and to others who have sent me email it looks as though I am not responding.

What is going on here?

Is LinkedIn becoming the New Big Brother?  Let’s hope not!

Do you have other personal experiences of being suspended on LinkedIn or know of others who have had their accounts restricted?  Please share your information for all of us to learn by.  Thank you.

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
Celebrating my wedding anniversary in Carlsbad. Rigatoni alla Siciliana anyone? ;-) #ita... http://t.co/x9CpGvUtMe http://t.co/60fZyQt6Fp - 4 hours ago
Neal Schaffer
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Comments

    • says

      My account was restricted also. I have emailed LinkedIn three times with NO response from them. I have been very careful about everything and have NOT violated their terms of agreement. So I do not understand why they have not responded to my emails! IMO it is VERY Rude on their part and unprofessional! I used it very infrequently so I just quite sending emails after the third one. The only reason that I joined was because they spammed me with email until I finally joined. It still is hurtful that they can restrict my account and not even have the decency to respond to my emails! And of course all of my friend and fans in there think I am snubbing them…& I can’t even get in there!

      • says

        we at sextoyshopit have had our acount restricted two times now and before any one jumps to conclusions no ofending images no spamming just sayiny adult products for adult people and the link ,basically we are fed up of Linkedin they can keep us restricted there loss as we spend loads on advertising i have just emailed there customer suport and wrote please keep us restricted becouse we are fed up of your unfair system i mean there not the bee all ends all .

  1. Louise says

    Restricted based on the number of people who viewed your profile also? Now I have heard everything – like you have any control over that! It should be *good* if a lot of people are viewing your profile. Do you think Barack Obama gets his profile suspended for having too many people look at it? Ridiculous!

  2. says

    I was never suspended but I did run out of invitations and had to email customer services and beg for more. It takes a week or two but you get the new invites in the end.

  3. says

    It seems like a contradiction in objectives. We're incouraged to connect with more people (more is better) because we can access more resources and skills and connect others to them as well. At the same time we seem to be penalized for doing just that.

  4. says

    Wow, I had no idea about that – thanks for the heads up. Personally, I do a lot of business and networking on LinkedIN, so I can't imagine having my account suspended for a couple of days. The whole concept of how they run their security concept is a little ridiculous.

  5. says

    Yes, Dana, I agree 100% with you! Not only is the security concept a little ridiculous, but to accuse the innocent of crimes is, shall I say, unfriendly?

  6. Rick says

    Thanks for the info… but now you have me sitting on the edge of my seat after each click of the mouse!

    This reminds me of an old advertisement for Tootsie Roll Pops… “how many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Pop?”

    Has there been any response from LinkedIn?

  7. says

    Hey Rick, you are a funny guy! Nope, there has been no official word from LinkedIn, but they don't usually comment on these things. They have their own ways of doing things…although I really think they could benefit by doing some good old outreach to its users and explaining their side of the story. I am sure there are good reasons they have for doing what they do … unfortunately, from the average user perspective, they are difficult to comprehend.

  8. says

    Nice post! I haven’t been restricted on LinkedIn but have spoke with a few of the LinkedIn staff members about this. There doesn’t seem to be a hard and fast rule about how many restrictions it takes before a person is permanently banned from inviting others. It appears (and this is assumption based on what was said and more importantly the dance around what wasn’t said) but it appears that a great deal depends on how quickly one gets restricted after having a previous restriction lifted, as well as how many restrictions they get. -Charles

  9. says

    Hey Charles, yes, I have had the same experience. As I wrote in my LinkedIn book, consider LinkedIn invites a precious resource and never assume that LinkedIn will continue to grant you more and more!

  10. Koprowicz says

    I was just blocked this morning…frustrating. I did some clicking around on Friday afternoon since it was a bit slow at work. I guess that did it?

  11. says

    Wow! LinkedIn is blocking people left and right! Apparently that must have been what did it…I would ping Customer Service…and also send them a tweet as well as post on their Facebook Wall. Good luck! And do let us know what happened!

  12. ATL says

    My accoutn was just suspended this morning! I recently began using LinkedIn more actively. I have had the account for approx 2 years, and would probably only view my page once per month. Within the past month, I have been utilizing it more (almost daily) as I have found it to be a valuable networking tool. However, today I am suspended and have no idea why! I have never even sent an invitation to anyone I don't know…my entire network is comprised of people I know personally, either through work or college/grad school! It will be itneresting to see how their customer service responnds to my questions. If I am falsely accused of anything, as the above blog discusses, I will be taking this issue further!!!!!!

  13. says

    Please do report back to us on what happens! I am starting to hear from a lot of people that their accounts are being suspended, so this may be something that LinkedIn has just started to do…let's hope it's the beginning of a quick end…

  14. says

    Glad I read this: I've got 4k contacts, and was going to spend a day tagging all of them. Looks like I'll batch them into 25 at a time, over a number of months.

  15. ATL says

    Here's an update on my account that had been suspended earlier in the day:

    I sent an email to customer service, and received an email back fairly quickly saying that my password “had been disabled for security reasons” (no further explanation was given)and that I had to re-set it. I followed the instructions that were sent to me, re-set my password, and tried to sign in, only to receive the same message again that stated that my account has been suspended.

    What is going on here???

  16. says

    Thanks for the update…that is truly bizarre. Please do continue to keep us posted so that others can learn from your unfortunate experience. Good luck with everything….and I sincerely hope it ends up OK for you in the end.

  17. Simon Hawkin says

    I am in the same situation. Only I first received an email from LinkedIn asking to reset the password, and only then I was told the account was suspended. No reply from Customer Service for two days. I will wait until after the weekend, then call them.

  18. says

    Simon, that is terrible! Very sorry to hear that…and bizarre that they would first ask you to reset your password only to suspend your account! Once again, please keep us in touch on how things go…I am hoping that Customer Service will respond more quickly than for my original subject of this blog post!

  19. ATL says

    Hi Simon,

    I still haven't heard back from LinkedIn customer service and it has been 3 days. My account is still “suspended”, yet I am still getting emails stating that people have accepted my LinkedIn request and/or requests to connect. Not sure what is going on here! Please let me know if you get anywhere through calling them!

    Thanks!

  20. Simon Hawkin says

    They actually did reply a few hours after I posted my comment. They said there was a glitch which (the way I understood it) caused my account to go to the suspended mode after the password reset. They fixed the problem for me now. I am not sure if the glitch affects more than just my account.

  21. says

    Thanks for getting back to us Simon…it sounds like a bizarre situation…and it doesn't seem to be the same situation that ATL has. Anyways, glad to hear things are back to normal for you.

  22. Jon. says

    Shame I didn't know about the number of clicks as well as I was going through cleaning my contact list and making sure they have been categorized correctly last night and BANG account suspended.
    Not sure I agree with the number of IDK either as the heavier user you are the more likely you will get suspended.
    So the clock has started to see how quick LinkedIn Customer Service comes back to me, 12hrs so far.

    Have to say I feel lost with out it and need to respond to some message I had in my inbox :-(

  23. says

    Jon, I am so sorry to hear about your experience. Ever since I blogged about my friend, this has become one of my most popular posts showing that there are many others in the same boat as you. Hopefully LinkedIn is reading these comments and fine-tuning their system so that truly innocent users like yourself are not penalized. Please do get back to us on how long it takes LinkedIn Customer Service to get back to you!

  24. ATL says

    Just an update on my account situation:
    LinkedIn customer service FINALLY got back to me…approx 2 weeks after my initial email. Not only was that frustrating, but I was given absolutely no explanation as to why my account was suspended. I simply received an email that stated that my account was back in working order. I have sent customer service another email asking for an explanation, but have not received a response. I don’t think I will.

  25. ATL says

    Just an update on my account situation:
    LinkedIn customer service FINALLY got back to me…approx 2 weeks after my initial email. Not only was that frustrating, but I was given absolutely no explanation as to why my account was suspended. I simply received an email that stated that my account was back in working order. I have sent customer service another email asking for an explanation, but have not received a response. I don’t think I will.

  26. says

    Two weeks? That’s horrible, especially when so many professionals rely on LinkedIn. Thanks for reporting back as it gives those who have their accounts restricted by LinkedIn some expectation as to how long it may take for Customer Service to get back to them…and do get back to us if you ever get an explanation as to why this happened to you in the first place!

  27. says

    Two weeks? That’s horrible, especially when so many professionals rely on LinkedIn. Thanks for reporting back as it gives those who have their accounts restricted by LinkedIn some expectation as to how long it may take for Customer Service to get back to them…and do get back to us if you ever get an explanation as to why this happened to you in the first place!

  28. says

    Simon – you’re lucky. I received the suspicious activity and account suspended email July 27, reset my password on July 29th, was told account was suspended, put in a CS ticket to get access back, describing the whole situation on July 29th, and have been getting all the emails since. None from customer service and now it’s August 12th. I put in another ticket, referencing the first one, including a copy of the email acknowledging it, so keeping my fingers crossed. This is getting Seriously Ridiculous!

  29. says

    That is Seriously Ridiculous!!! Can’t believe what I’m hearing and the problems that you all, very average LinkedIn users, are having! Why on earth should you be penalized for doing nothing wrong? A-B-S-U-R-D

  30. Roddd says

    I’m Suspended too for 2 days(for now) without any explanation.
    I only got this email from the cs(I had a nature pic on my profile- not a human face):

    Your profile photo has been removed.

    The photo has been removed for the following reason:
    The picture is in violation of the LinkedIn Photo Policy.

    LinkedIn provides the opportunity for users to upload a photograph to assist other members in recognizing that person. As a professional networking site, there are guidelines to determine which types of photos are appropriate. We consider a photo appropriate as long as it does not contain content that is copyrighted or unauthorized for public distribution and does not contain offensive content. Additionally, if your photo is not an image of yourself or does not contain an actual photograph, it is considered inappropriate. Your photo has been flagged for inappropriate elements and has been removed from your profile.

    You are certainly welcome to upload a different photo of yourself to remedy this situation. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact us at [email protected].

    Thanks for using LinkedIn!

    — The LinkedIn Team

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your information with us and I am sincerely sorry that you have to go through this. The “Flag this photo” feature can be used against innocent people, which it sounds like it has in your case. The funny thing is that there is no place to “Flag this profile” when you see an obvious fake profile. Go figure…

  31. BCALAK says

    Use LinkedIn infrequently < once a week. Am signed in, try to accept a connection invitation and it wants my e-mail & password even though I'm signed in. When I insert them the screen pops up again with the password blank (an eternal circle). I think LinkedIn's sytem is badly screwed up

  32. Jyothy Rajan says

    WTH! My account access has been suspended as well ………. for what …viewing too many profile???? If not for viewing profiles; y the hell would I even have an account in LinkedIn? This is ridiculous!!!!!!!!

  33. says

    I got locked out two days ago and have a hunch it has to do with (a abandoned) attempt to log in LinkedIn with my iPhone. Maybe ‘they’ thought it was a hack……
    And now i’m waiting and I need LinkedIn for jobs…. :-(

    • says

      Sorry to hear about that Frank…it really is incredible the different ways in which people are being restricted on LinkedIn. I do hope your situation works itself out.

  34. says

    I recently has my account on LI suspended and finally got an email back from Customer Service that the reason is they suspect I own multiple accounts on LI. They want me to reply back to Customer Service and tell them where I am accessing LI and also send over a copy of a government issue ID. It sounds very suspicious. Has anyone received this sort of request?

  35. Alfeo Pareschi says

    This just happened to me as well.
    Same reason.
    Generated a lot of profile views and only for using the feature for which Lin has been created: keep people networked. Now, if they reactivate my account, you can be sure I will move to a different Social Network. Plenty of them out there!

  36. Vcuddapa says

    My linkedin account got suspended. I just use the Linedin account to accept the invitations now and then and keep track of contacts messages. May onc ein a week I will login. Not sure why my account is suspended. HOw do I reactivate the same?

  37. Carol_diesel says

    I teach a class in online jobhunting.  I set up LinkedIn profiles for my 11 students for them to fill in during class.  Now all of their accounts are restricted, probably because I set up the accounts from the same computer.  I guess LinkedIn doesn’t want 11 new members?

  38. says

    I put my personalized linkedin html link in my email signature for work emails because I work in sales and I think a lot of people click on it because they are curious.  I’m almost positive that I was put on restriction for this reason.  Why would they let us have a personalized link but then not let us use it?  Considering I pay for a business subscription this is ridiculous.  I want the money back for every day that I was no allowed to use my account on the site during this month.  I’m not a spammer or bothering anyone.  I also get a lot of random click because I’m a girl and blonde – people that are straight creeping which is not my fault.  Give me a break.

  39. robdmilengo says

    We have exactly this problem and it’s incredible how disinterested LinkedIn are in providing any kind of support. One of our accounts has been suspended multiple times and all we get is a, ‘you’ve accessed too many pages’ message. The only message we’ve had from support told us that it’s ‘humanly impossible’ for someone to use the account as much as we have, which is why it was suspended. How do they then explain a suspension after 5 days of complete inactivity?

    Seems strange this only started to happen after their giant security breach, we changed all our passwords and removed all third party application access, as a security precaution but we’re still getting this error. Maybe they have a bigger problem than they’re letting on and the hackers are still exploiting their database?

    So what exactly are they trying to achieve with this crazy automated suspension? It seems like either lazy or over zealous security protocol which reflects a fundamental disregard and understanding of its users. As a paying customer I also expect to talk to a real person when something goes wrong, on the phone if need be, not recieve canned responses from a support rep who couldn’t care less. LinkedIn needs to stop behaving like a lumbering IBM or Microsoft only interested in profit, and more like the businesses savvy, agile social network that it claims to be.

    • LinkedIn User says

      Rob, precisely! They make it possible to join 50 groups and send you their own spammy emails pressuring you to be as active as possible, then apparently restrict you for doing so. I’ve never spammed. My posts are relevant content that lead to lively discussions. I get a ton of profile views.

      I’m waiting to find out their actual reason for suspending me.

      It’s archaic, disrespectful and plain bad business to suspend an account without warning or reason.

  40. bertbopper says

    Same problem arises when you login from abroad. Was in Germany for a holiday, made 1 too many attempt in activating the link from the e-mail (yes you have to confirm with a email first from an unknown IP address!!!), and BANG locked out. I sent a pissed of request to activate my account, and I got a message from the member that I was not supposed to talk like that, ticket closed! How arrogant! And the employee was annonymous off course. First time I can login again, I quit my account. Linkedin is not the trusthworthy accesible everywhere Rolodex anymore. I move to Pandora on my own server.

  41. Surya says

    My account was found restricted this morning when i try to log in. I recently began using LinkedIn account actively. Within the past month, I have been utilizing it as I have found it to be a valuable networking tool. However, today I am restricted and have no idea about it. I have never even sent an invitation to anyone whom i don’t know. My entire network is comprised of people I know personally, either through college or work. It will be interesting to see how their customer service respond to my query.

  42. Joe says

    glad i am not only one. but still highly annoying! I get tons of requests each week, run 2 groups, have a company page – and sent out maybe one request to connect in the last 3 or 4 months – now all of a sudden I am locked out. have sent two email to customer support, and no replies. this is how they treat their power users?

      • Surya says

        Hi Neal,
        Sorry to say that It took around 2 weeks to sort out and to activate the account with LinkedIn Customer care after communicating by mail that too after sending my mail they replied after a week saying that “you’ve sent unsolicited mass mailings and/or promotional materials in messages that appear to be phishing, spam, or abusive in nature” and replying to it i.e, after sending confirmation mail by me saying that “i will adhere to the stated policy and make use of LinkedIn account in a fair way binding to the norms of LinkedIn” they have activated my account but for my surprise is i have neither did marketing nor i have that much time to spend on sending mass mails or materials from Linkedin. Any have its finally got activated. Thanks to them but what i observed is that we have to be careful in accepting and sending invitations and we should delete unnecessary pending requests (if any) which i hope from the account accordingly..
        Thanks & Best Regards,
        Surya

  43. Dejan Djordjevic says

    Hi Neal,

    my Linkedin account is restricted 4 days ago, I wrote four posts support and still did not get an explanation, in the last message I wanted to delete my account if 22nd March does not solve my problem.

  44. vu says

    account was restricted 3 days ago just as I logged in to apply for a SEM job that you can only apply for via Linkedin

    still no response

    @Surya…how long did it take you to get a response??

  45. says

    My Account is restricted I don’t know why
    It’s not fair at all 18 hours a day we are working on Linked in & at last what we get restriction ?
    Sorry it’s really hurts when you see your account is restricted is this good no I don’t think so
    Can you please let me know how do I get my Account back ?
    Please help me
    Thank’s

    • says

      Hi Yusuf, I am really sorry to hear about what happened to your account – but as you can see from the other comments here, the only people that can help you are LinkedIn Customer Service. If they don’t respond to your emails, try to tweet at them on Twitter – they’ve responded to me there recently. Good luck to you!

  46. BHP says

    Hi I have just had an Account High Restricted.

    I have no idea what has triggered this at all. I previously had restricted postings, but again no – one will tell me why, or how to correct it or stop it. I respond to posts irregularly, and look at peoples profiles, but that’s it. No on line arguments, or even harsh discussions.

    Customer service doesn’t respond, my tickets disappear without trace, and now I cant even access my tickets, and this is for a service that I am paying £150 a year for!

    This is draconian, with a verdict of guilty without trial, and without the ability to defend yourself. You cannot get to know who is the complainer, or what the event was that triggered it. Any one with a malicious streak, can attack you without you having any defence.

    LinkedIn’s systems need significant improvement in this area, or clearer rules, to protect their paying members.

    • says

      If you’re a paying customer, if I’m not mistaken, you should be getting priority customer support! I really hope you are able to contact them by email or through social media to rectify your account. When you do, please tell us how it went!

  47. Sandra says

    the funny thing is, I NEVER use my linkedin account, and I don’t think I’ve ever invited anyone to join my network. I have, however, had a few people recently send ME invitations (that I’ve seen through me email). I finally decided to log into my account, only to find that it’s been high restricted! WTF????

    • says

      Very weird Sandra … I’ve heard of others with the same situation. Sounds like as you were inactive, maybe someone tried to hack into your account and thus they restricted it. A perfect Catch 22 scenario that can only be resolved by getting in touch with LinkedIn Customer Support…

  48. j... says

    Yes, excellent article. I had my Linkedin account ‘restricted’ 3 days ago without any warning or communication. When I raised a customer support call to Linkedin, the response I received was that ‘It was going to take an unspecified amount of time for them to tell me why I was restricted’. Unbelievable. I have been using Linkedin for business purposes for a number of years with 600+ connections, 50 Groups including 3 of my own. At this point I am seriously questioning whether or not Linkedin represents a dependable service. Thanks for the insights…

    Regards…

    • says

      Wow – really sorry to hear what happened to you. I know that LinkedIn Customer Service recently started a Twitter account so I would definitely try to reach out to them there as well. Best of luck – and do let us know how/when it gets resolved!

  49. Donna says

    I just got a high restricted suspension. I was doing some research for a job hunt and interview to get to know better some people’s backgrounds who are first connections and inviting other locals to connect to improve my profile regionally…I had no idea using it for job hunting, filling out an application with a former boss’ new position info and improving my profile for an upcoming interview are bad. I put that LinkedIn profile on I don’t know how many resumes. What will HR people think?

    • says

      You should test your LinkedIn profile link to see what other people would see if they go to it. Although you might not be able to access your account because of the restriction, others may still be able to see it. In that case, HR people won’t know! But you still have to have the restriction lifted so that you can update your LinkedIn profile once you find your next job!

  50. asifmemon says

    When I login my linkedin account then its show me that message: Your LinkedIn account has been temporarily restricted, How to solve this problem and open my account. Please Rply

  51. Vivian says

    I’ve just found my account has been put on “high restricted”! My profile is no longer visible and there is now no record of me being on there! I have emailed them but had no response yet. I’ve only just started using LI and have no idea what I’m supposed to have done. LI seemed such a super idea but I must say I’ve totally lost confidence in it. If they give me my account back I’m not sure I’ll make use of it any more. I can’t believe they will keep going when they behave like this

  52. maureen cavaiani says

    Add me to the “high restricted” list! I joined LinkedIn a week ago… Hubby a chartered member… He has never received a restriction!

      • Vivian Chapman says

        I also got a bit of a shock when I joined LI and a few weeks later was “high restricted”! They did reply in about two days and re-instated me, after I promised never ever to do it again (except I hadn’t done anything!) They told me I had been putting promotional materials on there (which I hadn’t) and then said I was sending invites to people I didn’t know. I told them 1) I did know everyone I invited 2) some people might not have known my married name as it was a while since I’d been in contact 3) some people on linked in only have a name and no other details – I might have got the wrong person unwittingly.
        The thing that gets me is that it’s so illogical and the same rules don’t appear to apply to everybody. Also, maybe someone didn’t want to connect and instead of ignoring they complain – I don’t know. It is all very Kafka-esque and I’m on tenterhooks everytime I go on there now

        • says

          Very bizarre indeed Vivian – almost as if there was another person out there pretending that they were you doing all of those things! I like the fact that LinkedIn is trying to crack down on fake profiles, but they need to work harder to distinguish the real people from the fakes!

  53. Martin says

    Neal,

    You are so much helpful and responsive than Linkedin Customer Service. It’s quite unfortunate given so much $ has invested in this company. Quite a frustrating experience for a user like me who never spam, has legitimate contacts and owns a very active group. One day I just couldn’t login and receive a “temporarily restricted” message. I think my profile is deleted as well as I conduct a google a search. Now should I use another working email account to setup another account or should I continue waiting in vain for Linkedin to response? Thanks Neal

    • says

      You’re very welcome Martin. If you wait more than a week or two and you get no response, you might want to take matters into your own hands and start anew … either way, good luck with it!

      • Lisa says

        I am not satisfied with your answer Neal! Professionals have spend a lot great deal of time building connections! for me I’m very well known public person and I have nearly 700 connections on Linkedin. I have been restricted the second time now. First they asked for my proof of identification and provided them with my passport and driver’s license to show that my account is verified. Now it is restricted again, Do you honestly think business professionals who put so much into the profile to start all over again!? I don’t think so. Linkedin need to step up and start fixing the problem or else they are going to face dire consequences. Namely a lawsuit for penalizing innocent users for something they had no control over or didn’t do. After all this is suppose to be a social media outlet for professionals all over the world. If you are an advocate to help us, I suggest you take this up the social media administrators out there whoever they are and show them the countless complaints and have a petition put together so that Linkedin does not abuse it’s power and policy and hurting businesses in process. Trust me I have seen so much abuse on Linkedin! Linkedin doesn’t give a damn!

        • says

          I’m sorry if you’re not satisfied with my answer Lisa – as you know I have no relationship or affiliation with LinkedIn, so I am only speaking about the experiences that users like you have told me. I do believe that the issues you bring up are serious – and I hope that LinkedIn is listening!

  54. Vivian says

    Lisa – I do sympathise. I have left comments previously on this thread. One thing that I think is strange is that they asked for your passport to prove who you are. PayPal tried doing that to me when I reached my limit, and I made a string of complaints as I have been the victim of ID theft before now. However, after a while, they sent me an email telling me how to lift the limit, which I did, and I didn’t have to send them a copy of my passport after all! It makes you wonder if fraudsters get jobs in places like that!
    After my initial LI account restriction, I’ve found that their customer service are quite good and give prompt replies now. I’m a bit paranoid, so if I’m not sure if I might break their rules, I sent them a message to ask them.
    It’s the fact that you can break their rules without knowing that gets me, and also that someone can report you as a spamster just because they are in a bad mood that day! And LI won’t tell you precisely what you did! You have to guess!
    It is a shame because I am finding they are a marvellous tool, and the people you connect with are so helpful, as are the various forums

    • Lisa says

      I agree Vivian and this is quite scary! We never know whose engaging in these fraudulent activities right under social media administration! I had wondered the same thing and after that, there were no problems. At that time I found out who the rascals were reporting my profile. Just this morning LinkedIn got in touch with me to solve the name issue. Because I put my initial of my last name since there are few people sharing the same last name. I posted on Facebook and tweeted like crazy on Facebook citing my frustration. They acted quite fast and my restriction had been lifted! The powers that be with social media! it did the trick! The funny thing is LinkedIn claims that it does not penalized innocent users to suspend account based on high profile clicks and views. Really?! I told them google it and you see where the complaints lies. After that, they were tongue tied.

  55. says

    I got restricted too in linkedin. I was surprise as they restricted me without warning. Pretty disappointed with linkedin management. How do I Activate it back? I hope the linkedin management can improve their social network.

    • Vivian says

      Edwin – put urgent on your request to customer services and ask them why you were restricted. You will probably have to agree to never being naughty again, even if you don’t know what you did!

  56. LinkedIn User says

    My account is suspended, and they’ve neither sent me a warning nor are they replying to my inquiries. I don’t spam, and my Connection requests are limited to about one per week.

    However, my discussion threads are lively, and I respond to nearly every comment people give me. This results in a high number of people viewing my profile. My discussions are usually around an article or inspirational quote I’ve posted relevant to my groups.

    Could the high number of POSITIVE interactions actually be triggering LI’s suspension? I feel better reading this thread, knowing they give knee jerk responses. It’s truly puzzling.

    What’s even more puzzling: I had occasion to report a user who was relentlessly spamming ME across various groups, in PMs, in my personal email. LI refused to do a thing about that!

    • says

      Wow – that’s one of the most bizarre cases I’ve ever heard! I really hope that someone from the powers that be are reading these comments and looking at ways to improve their customer service!

      • LinkedIn User says

        They finally replied, Neal. It was a form letter, saying that I had EITHER spammed or phished via group discussions, OR sent group members spam messages. No specifics, nothing I can look at or refute.

        Of further interest: it’s impossible for me to spam group members, as I have the groups feature turned off that allows contact with non-connections! I did this to stop spam directed at ME.

        They asked me to promise to be a good member in future. How can I promise to not to what I didn’t do, and to not do what they didn’t tell me I did? Passive aggressive management at its worst!

        • Vivian says

          I had the same problem. The thing that gets me is someone can report you but you have no redress. The person you reported could have reported you falsely just out of spite

          • LinkedIn User says

            Exactly, Vivian. It’s like a witch hunt! How can they not look at evidence? In fact, I suspect this is exactly what may have happened. I started systematically posting inspirational quotes and cool articles related to my groups, and got a ton of positive response and some business, too.

            I could actually see the envy from some people who’d been there longer, and were not doing well. In fact, a couple started asking me calculated questions that wasted my time. You know, the kind of questions that have a barb in them, and you HAVE to answer or otherwise you look as if you’re hiding something. “But isn’t it true that it can be difficult to use the program you represent? And I had an experience with someone in your field who blahblahblah.” Sheeer bitchery/prickery.

            My impression of LI: it’s a clunky old database invented by archaic business guys, as simply a passive place to post your resume. I joined in ’06, but didn’t get active till ’12, for that reason. LI has NO clue how social media works, and what it’s meant to do. I think they’re years behind.

            If they want a vibrant, healthy site, they need to catch up. I was considering a paid membership, but not now. Do they really think someone who’s been accused and suspended without evidence IN A FORM LETTER, is now going to give them, what, $300 annually? Not a chance.

          • LinkedIn User says

            I finally received an answer that is so bizarre, so puzzling, it taught me that procedures on LI are completely arbitrary. Apparently somebody(s) reported that I posted a link to an article in a well known, well regarded professional magazine, as “spam.”

            It wasn’t even my own article, nor do I work for this magazine. There was nothing violent, sexual, graphic, political or controversial in the article. Nothing at all potentially offensive. LI’s reply made it clear they hadn’t read the article, just responded to the spam allegation.

            I’m blown away. So now we know. If you disagree with a point made in a balanced journal (or just don’t like the poster), all you have to do ispush the “spam” button—and you can get that person blocked from LI without a reason given, and clearly, without investigation.

            That’s it for me. I’ll leave my profile up, but if their procedures are this arbitrary, I’m not participating. Certainly not going to pay for membership!

          • says

            Well it is beneficial to know that this is happening to many others aside from myself! This is an unjust happening and IMO just goes to show, that bad/jealous people sometimes get away with injustices to other! We can only hope that since so many seem to live by the sword…
            And “trashbook” (facebook) is probably one of the worst!
            Thanks for Ur time in informing us of the conclusion of Ur matter!

  57. says

    I’ve been restricted from using LinkedIn twice now – both times for sharing informative articles with no business connection and no advertising.

    Unfortunately people seems to feel inclined to report messages as spam when they see links to webpages… My advise, never include a hyperlink in a comment on an article, or on the comment of another person.

    It shouldn’t be this way really, but their support seems slow for a non-paying member, so I guess their resource is low………………I’ve written to them several times pleading with them to be more understanding that people aren’t always in the right when they hit the spam button………….as a matter of fact, Forbes Magazine have called out my articles as ‘intereting’, ‘informative’ and ‘well thought out’ and I’ve had personal thank you’s… and almost 600 likes.

    Linkedin’s conduct is wrong but I doubt it’ll change – look around the web and there’s reams of people complaining of the same happening to them!

    Just to demonstrate that I’m not soliciting business, here’s one of the links that got me banned: http://www.lateralthinkingsolutions.net/blog/intrepreneur-definition.php

      • LinkedIn User says

        Here’s the article that got me suspended in an animal industry group: http://cs.thehorse.com/blogs/horse-sense-and-sensibility/archive/2013/12/04/20-do-s-and-don-ts-for-being-an-awesome-veterinary-client.aspx

        Inexplicable. I suppose the only people now welcome on LI are ones who are geniuses at short Tweets or constructing interview questions. I happen to be a person who enjoys researching, sharing and discussing published information with peers.

          • Vivian says

            Getting banned for posting links to articles in magazines is probably not down to linked in but the individual group leader. It may help if you start a discussion with some of your opinions and asking for comments. You could also start a discussion by pasting the whole article instead of a link, but the very fact there is a facility on LI to make workable links does suggest it should be ok. Have you tried emailing the group leader and asking them to publish your discussion?

          • LinkedIn User says

            Neal, for some reason there’s no Reply button under Vivian’s comment. But here’s my reply: Vivian, you should join the LinkedIn team. You fit right in. I do not lick my oppressor’s boots. I out them and join with others to change things. It’s called self respect.

  58. Priya Sadasivam says

    I don’t know why my account was restricted. I needed access. I have written to the help center 3 times. And this is my 1st time. I think its pretty rude to just block access. I am also a paid member for using the recruiter access. Please allow/grant access to my account. I am not sure how else to proceed. Thanks !

    • says

      Hi Priya, I’m really sorry to hear what has happened. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I have no affiliation with LinkedIn, so you will have to work with them. But if you haven’t tried, I would try to reach out to them on Twitter or another social media channel in addition to email. Hope the advice helps – and please do let us know how it gets resolved! Good luck…

  59. Jonathan says

    When I first joined LinkedIn, I would sent out hundreds of invitations within the span of a day. This resulted of my account being blocked a couple of times. I first thought the reason I had been blocked was because I had sent too many invitations. But I later found out that wasn’t the reason. Instead, the reason was because I had viewed too many profiles.

    You see, unlike other people that send mass invitations, I prefer the view the profiles of members before inviting them to connect because I believe in both quantity and quality. There are many people on LinkedIn that I just don’t want to invite. Sure, I would gladly accept them in my network if THEY invited me. But I would never use my 3 000 limit supply to invite them myself. Because of that, I always took the habit of viewing profiles before inviting people. This has resulted of me being blocked a couple of times because LinkedIn said that I viewed an “unusual amount of profiles” and thought I was using the information to exploit it elsewhere. Talk about being paranoid. But my blocks never lasted more than 24 hours and definitely not two weeks. I remember one of my blocks lasting as little as a mere two hours.

    So from my own experience you can spend all day long on LinkedIn without any consequences if you stick to your news feed and your groups. But as soon as you do anything involving profiles (whether by viewing them or by searching them), then you’re putting yourself at the risk of being eventually temporarily blocked, if done in great quantity within a short period of time.

    • Jonathan says

      Wanted to clarify something

      While LinkedIn discourage mass invitations, it is permitted and it is not a practice that will eventually get you blocked, as long as you don’t view profiles nor use LinkedIn’s search engine in the process. So the safest way to do mass invitation without risking being blocked is by inviting people through the “People you might know” section. However, this could lead to another problem. Sure, you won’t risk being blocked for viewing or searching too many profiles. But by inviting people that you haven’t even looked at the profiles first, you may end up getting IDKs which could ultimately lead to a restriction requiring you to enter an e-mail for all futures invites. And unlike the block for viewing too many profiles which is only temporary, a restriction is permanent until you take actions to remove it. On the bright side, you can still use LinkedIn while you’re restricted, which isn’t the case when you’re blocked.

  60. Joe says

    Apparently if your computer/browser is used to login to two different linkedin accounts, you account will go into High Restricted state, and you will be asked to provide a government issued photo id to restore it back.

    This is really odd, becz many families would be using the same computer to access their accounts, isn’t it?

    • says

      I don’t know if they’re looking at IP addresses or other things, but the TOS does say only one person per account, and I’m sure they are doing things to try to get smarter and weed out faked accounts. Unfortunately, they still might be working on the ideal solution here…

      • Also scared of Linked In says

        Hello Neal,

        Almost 4 years later and this thread is still going. I’m impressed by your patience but no so with LI.

        However due to an unrelated issue I was also asked by LI to send in photos of Govt issued ID. Ok, so I get that it’s to prevent identity theft, but because it’s something I’d never heard of before where a social network can ask this of you I came across your article about wholesale suspensions of LI accounts often for no good reason.

        I think LI’s end goal is to get every member to comply with their new verinet security procedures. So they suspend your account for ‘over-clicking’ for the express purpose of getting a copy of your ID/Passport online. Which IMO is open to abuse and can lead to widespread ID theft, leading to more stringent ID required worldwide such as verichip.

        Btw – will not be contributing to their cause. I’m not sending any copies of my ID online as we all know the internet is a safe place to store personal information. NOT!
        LI a social network turned police database.

        • says

          Really sorry to hear about what’s happening to you … in all honesty, I think it is bizarre for ANY social network to ask for government-issued ID unless you did something REALLY unusual…

          • LinkedIn User says

            Yes, I’ve read that too. It’s outrageous. I would definitely leave an online service before providing that level of ID. I won’t even use, for example, ecard services that ask for my credit card info WHILE saying the card is “free,” and not displaying which cards are actually free and which are paid by subscription. I think LinkedIn may be overestimating its own value.

        • Joe says

          But if you do not send them Govt Issued Id – your LinkedIn account will remain disabled. Worse is that you cannot even delete it as you cannot login,

          And you cannot re-register with same email id i guess.

        • says

          This exact thing happened to me today after I discovered that my account was restricted yesterday. The vague reason that they gave me was

          “Due to the activity we’ve found associated with this account, we’d first like to see a scanned image of a valid government issued photo ID (for example: a driver’s license or passport) that has your … Note: We request that prior to submitting your government issued ID, you cover the identification number on the copy of the document. … Please note that if this issue comes up again, we may require you to present this information again.”

          I am at a loss as to why they would request this and how they would be able to verify without the unique ID number. This seems to be a violation by LI at many levels.

        • LinkedIn User says

          Can you imagine how you’d feel if you’d given LI your i.d., then found out about the Heartbleed Bug? I live in Canada, and our Internal Revenue Service had to shut down for a week to deal with it. 900 people’s most personal info was hijacked anyway. The whole country was given an extra week to file taxes. It was that bad.

          Did you notice LI didn’t even have the decency to comment on whether they were affected by Heartbleed? Not a peep.

          Nowaynowaynoway would I give a social media site my i.d.! Particularly knowing how irresponsible LI is anyway, what with arbitrary suspensions—while not allowing you to block genuine psychos. I was being stalked, and all they’d say is, “Tell the group manager.” I told them the psycho was stalking me from group to group. They would not let me block them in any way.

          If such extremely basic functions are not available to users, who are they to even ask for our i.d.? Even Facebook is safer!

          • says

            You make a good point, in that although many sites did update their users about Heartbleed, LinkedIn didn’t.

            I also feel the need to send in personal identification is bizarre. I wish they would at least make a public statement about that because they are the only one I’ve ever heard of who request it.

  61. says

    Hi. Neal. About 7 years without talking to you. Surprised this post is from 2010 and still valid issue.

    Today, my LinkedIn Account was put on temporary hold with restricted access. Reads as follows:

    “LinkedIn is Momentarily Unavailable

    LinkedIn is momentarily unavailable but should return in a few moments.
    We apologize for any inconvenience.

    Please wait a moment, then follow this link to return to the home page. You may need to sign in again.”

    I have no clear idea of what generated or trigger the temporary freezen.

    Fancy Names are use by everyone. So I do too.

    What I cannot clear out is the real source.

    1. I was testing the new “similar profile” that appears in the lower right corner of any page when you accept someone. I confess I did a lot of clicking and research using that mechanism. But while doing nothing happens

    2. I do see a lot of posts and I open them up very fast.

    Now I do not know weather my restriction came from seeing to many profiles, or too many post or both or the speed at which I was reading them. 4 years ago I was confused with an automated robot, and I had to prove I was just a high speed headhunter.

    No idea if LinkedIn checks total number of clicks in a certain period, the speed at which you do them or total page views?

    If what they report are total amounts of clicks or page views, I must say I am going to delete 2 groups of 15.000 members each and deleted all the 40 groups on which I am so as to save on clicks and page views to finance my profile viewing.

    Once I have an explanation form them, I will publish the finding.

    I am thankful to your post because Restricted Profiles do not get attended unless you report A ticket to LinkedIn Customer Services, since they work FIFO. Otherwise you will never get access to your account again.

  62. prem says

    When i tried to enter in to my account it shows an error message from last 7 days – “Your LinkedIn account has been temporarily restricted ”
    1. Please please let me know what exactly the problem ?
    2. when it will recover ?
    3. if recovers does anything change in my connections?
    i have sent an email to linkedin 5 times i got the reference number but they didn’t responded till data….
    please help me out from this….

    • says

      Hello – this blog is not affiliated in any way with LinkedIn.com, so you will need to contact their Customer Service in order to get your issue resolved. Thank you for your understanding.

  63. says

    I have been restricted and cannot send any invitations.

    I had long discussions with Support and here is the exact messages:

    “LinkedIn Response 09/12/2014 16:35

    Hi Leon,

    Thanks for your patience and my sincere apologies for the delay and inconvenience this issue is causing you. I received your request to be escalated and I was able to go in and review your account history. I am unable to go re-instate your invitations.

    The LinkedIn User Agreement states that members should only connect with individuals they know and trust. Due to this policy, it is in everyone’s best interest to have a maximum connection limit in place. This limit cannot be increased or modified for any of our members. We suggest that in order for you to connect with others that you review your current list of connections and remove those that may no longer have value.
    We will need for you to complete this action in order for us to grant additional invitations to your account. As an ongoing practice it would be beneficial for you to constantly manage your connection list and to only maintain those that bring you the highest relationship value.

    Thanks for seeing value in LinkedIn’s Invitation feature and for your assistance in making LinkedIn a professional and trustworthy site.

    Regards,

    Alicia
    LinkedIn Trust & Safety”

  64. says

    Hi Neal,
    I have a new one for you. My ability to endorse other members in my network has been taken away for 2 weeks so far for my endorsing too many people.

    I have over 6000 people in my network so yes I have many connections and often I have reason to endorse them but I was not aware that being active in my network was a crime

  65. Vivian says

    Well, I have had so many issues now with my account that I will remove all my details from LinkedIn as soon as I have contacted all the connections I’ve made! It started with my having a premium account, and I didn’t know all kinds of things were happening unbeknown to me presumably so they could keep taking my money! I therefore downgraded to a free account. I also published an article on pulse about LinkedIn, and I think that may be they don’t like it! (see https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/article/20140920133348-263357853-open-letter-to-linkedin?trk=mp-reader-card) Since then it’s gone haywire. I can’t share anything with anyone. I can’t post in groups. I can’t comment in groups. My contacts can’t find my profile despite my being able to go into it. One group where I was a top contributor got in touch and demanded to know why I had removed an article I had posted, and which interested them. I hadn’t removed it of course Linked In had. I also had a message in my inbox which they removed – there was an empty message saying “This message has been removed by linkedin customer service”!!! That totally freaked me out! I have three open tickets with customer service, and they keep either emailing me and saying an issue has been resolved (when it hasn’t) or they say they are working hard to try and resolve it. Today, I discovered that AFTER the first of my customer service tickets and AFTER I had ceased to be able to use my account, that my account had been restricted! Yet not one of the customer service emails informed me of that! I think the customer service department actually entertains themselves by playing around with customer accounts! I think they really are creepy and perhaps even positively sick. Thing is they are immune – nobody can touch them and they can do what they like. And how do we know if customer service people aren’t spamming us, and sending us Trojans (both of which I’ve had shortly after contacting customer services)
    The sooner they cease to exist the better

    • Vivian says

      Oh well it may be because overnight I received a message saying my profile was up and running but now it’s not, so maybe it’s disabled. It’s too long to reproduce here. I may put it on twitter

    • Vivan says

      Me again Steve. I just tried the link from your post and it works for me. That’s the thing that is so annoying because I put loads of work in and think everything is fine till my connections tell me I’m invisible!

    • Vivian says

      Open Letter to LinkedIn

      Sep 20 2014

      Dear LinkedIn Hidden Ones

      I have been forced to cancel my premium LinkedIn account because it isn’t working for me and I would like you to note the following comments:

      Just recently I have apparently been flagged several times, I believe, out of spite by anonymous persons or a person

      This has resulted in no one being able to view my profile because it has disappeared and my articles either becoming invisible or appearing without my name on them

      I would describe myself as an ideal networker. Since commencing an account on LinkedIn, I have never once promoted myself or attempted any form of selling or advertising. The one exception to this is recently I made use of LinkedIn to publish two articles about Ebola. As the world governments were not acting, I did the little I could in the interests of saving precious lives. Of course, no one can access my articles because I have been flagged. As if it wasn’t difficult enough already to get through to people, especially as the media have not been doing their job. I should mention that the charity I was “promoting” is a construction industry led charity in the UK and therefore does have something to do with business

      Since joining LinkedIn I have noticed the following articles and posts (I did not flag anybody because I have always believed in engaging people in rational conversation, and listening to people even though I don’t agree with them. I believe the pen is mightier than the sword.In fact I believe anonymous flagging is a despicable practice):

      •Posts blatently advertising products and services with no other purpose than that – these never get flagged, even in groups where I have been flagged wrongly when I haven’t been advertising!

      •Posts having no mention or reference to any business and which blapheme God

      •Posts having no mention or reference to any business which slander the Christian religion

      •Posts having no mention or reference to any business which slander the Muslim religion

      •Posts which insult and degrade Muslims personally

      •Posts which spout undisguised hatred of British people

      •Posts which are anti-semitic

      •One post which called on people to blow up the Tower of London

      •One post which called on people to attack the US Navy

      •Posts spewing hate on the whole female sex (oddly enough I’ve yet to see one spewing hate on the whole male sex!)

      One of the most outrageous things about your recent suspensions of my account is that you deliberately did not tell me about it, just so you would be able to continue taking my money even though no premium services were available to me. I only know it happens when my contacts tell me they can’t find me! In one case my post disappeared from a group, and the group leader contacted me and asked why I had removed an important post!

      During my time on LinkedIn I have helped many contacts in various ways – for free. In some cases I have spent a considerable amount of time and money helping out contacts who were in a mess with something, and I put my expertise at their disposal. I normally tell any new contacts that they can contact me if they think I can assist them with anything. I enjoy helping people and have a lot of business experience which I wanted to share. LinkedIn seems hell bent on stopping me from doing that

      Perhaps I should also point out that as I am semi retired I have no reason to promote my services – I don’t mind doing the occasional job but don’t want to work full time and don’t want to over encourage work offers

      The only time I post comments which have nothing to do with work, is to counter someone who has posted an article or comment which itself had nothing to do with work or was offensive. Of course, such people don’t like being countered, no matter how reasonable or polite you are

      What LinkedIn is becoming is a free-for-all for irrational, hateful, bigotted people who are totally unprofessional and do not possess the ability to network with others in a considerate, caring and helpful way. I want to see the world of business becoming the good thing it is supposed to be, because with an ethical base it can make so many people’s lives better. It can make the world a better place. You could have been part of that process

      You are fast becoming a network of spite. You are alienating large numbers (just google yourself!) of genuine professionals who have been willing to pay for premium accounts but are fast becoming fed up to the back teeth with you

      If you want to become the network of haters and bigots who want to destroy people carry on but if you want to recover your original purpose then I suggest some high level brainstorming

      Yours faithfully

      Vivian

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