According to LinkedIn, there are:

347,000,000+ Registered Members
111,000,000+ in the United States
28,000,000+ in India
20,000,000+ in Brazil
17,000,000+ in the UK

…and among all these “registered members” there are 8 “real” people who go by the name Beavis Butthead.

Heh-heh, heh-heh.

Many of the Top 50 Cartoon Characters “judged for their influence, their popularity, and their hilarity” also have a professional persona as identified with profiles on LinkedIn! Here are a few of the Cartoonish professionals with profiles:

Bugs Bunny: 6

Homer Simpson: 11

Mickey Mouse: 30

Bart Simpson: 191

Charlie Brown: ~7 (but tough to say; I know a Charlie Brown and he doesn’t wear zip-zag shirts)

Fred Flintstone: 14 (there are a few real Fred’s around; and of course there are 2 for Barney Rubble)

The Grinch: 4

Popeye: 12 (added sailor OR sailorman to keywords)

Wile E. Coyote: 29 (added wile OR "Wile e" OR wiley in the title field)

Rocky Bullwinkle: 2

Sponge Bob: 51 (first = "sponge bob" OR sponge; last = bob OR squarepants OR "square pants")

Eric Cartman: 107 (but there are several real ones out there)

Daffy Duck: 3 (first = daffey OR daffy, last = duck)

Porky Pig: 2 (first = porky OR porkie OR porkey; last = pig; 150 when first = porky OR porkie OR porkey; last = null – many are real)

Scooby Doo and Shaggy: 5 (Scooby Doo) and 7 (“Scooby Doo” as first name with last name blank; with “Shaggy” as the first name with last name blank produces 375 results with name of the latter ones being of the “interesting” type)

Mr. Magoo: 34 (first = "Mr. Magoo" OR "Mister Magoo" last = null; first = “mister” OR mr, last = magoo)

Fat Albert: Hey, Hey, Hey…ZERO!

Betty Boop: 33 (first = betty, last = boop; with first = "Betty Boop", last = null, there are 32 more – some real!)

George Jetson: 2 (one might be a real person)

Pink Panther: 4

Gumby: 2 (first = gumby, last = pokey)

Speaking of Gumby, damn it I’m getting bored of this. You get the picture; I’ll leave it up to others to delve into other areas like Presidents, World Leaders, Hollywood characters (there are 103 Darth Vaders but only 12 Luke Skywalkers – guess the Force loses), Musicians (there are 43 Elvis Presleys), and TV characters (78 for Barney Stinson and 113 for George Costanza).

It all adds up to one incredible professional networking site.

This is a big deal. It’s big because we’re paying for you to create marketing programs claiming there are all these real members on LinkedIn when in fact that is a bold-faced lie. Plain and simple, it’s bait and switch.

LinkedIn – we’re laughing at you, not because we believe your entire product is a fraud but because your marketing is disingenuous. Every day you stay silent, every day another fraudulent person attempts to connect with us, and every day we’re forced to do the work of your Trust and Safety team, our opinion of you and your product diminishes.

Rationalize your member base; publicly state that the problem is a threat to the spirit of the product and that you’ll be going after those who create fake profiles and abuse the goodwill of the community. Don’t be afraid that Analysts will downgrade your stock or that advertisers will leave; they won’t if your initiative is about honesty and customer experience.

Do me a favor – reach out to me. Not a low-level professional but someone who can actually make changes. How aboutPaul Rockwell (@risk_yoda)? Stop hiding behind your painfully annoying “we take this very seriously” responses to us reporting fake profiles, and send in one of your executives to face the problem and work with the community that built you – recruiters.

Come in for an interview on RecruitingBlogs – I promise we won’t ambush you. We can work on a solution together.

Time for LinkedIn to man up and stop being a butthead…

Views: 2808

Comment by Mike Rasmussen on June 26, 2015 at 2:02pm

55 results for Smurfette and 23 results for batman.

Comment by Mike Rasmussen on June 26, 2015 at 2:12pm

9 results for Willy Wonka.....

Comment by Mike Rasmussen on June 26, 2015 at 2:13pm

Egad Steve - can't believe how bad this is.....LinkedIn majorly needs to clean house....

Comment by Derdiver on June 26, 2015 at 2:29pm

One hell of a read my man! 

Comment by Austin Fraser Ltd on June 30, 2015 at 6:42am

Even though there is no doubt that these spam accounts exist...I did once see a man, who was genuinely called James Bond, with a legitimate account, have his suspended. He had to go through quite a rigorous process with LinkedIn to prove that was his name. 

It's very baffling that so many fake/spam accounts still exist!

-Charlotte, AF

Comment by Steve Levy on June 30, 2015 at 12:09pm

Austin- there are always people with names that might get flagged; happy that Mr. Bond was able to convince LinkedIn that he was the REAL James Bond.

But the fake profile problem seems to be exploding as more spam vultures are circling the LinkedIn Corral.

LinkedIn's public response?


Comment by Steve Levy on June 30, 2015 at 12:10pm

From a non-recruiter who wanted to comment:

As a long time member of LI this is a problem that has actually driven me to lower my use of the LI system - rather than being a special place to find people and employment, it is becoming "just another networking tool" that has started a downhill slide. I truly believe LI needs to hire some folks to do something about this - Steve - you and I would be a good start. There was a time that I would see 150 or more visitors to my profile on a daily basis - however the "let's make a deal" folks, the hot babes and the "get rich quick" scammers showed up, making me reduce my activity and I stopped paying for the high class privileges as well. It is comical how many "busty babes" invite me to connect and work for them - time for a serious clean up - however it is not going to happen - numbers matter and LI is more interested in the cash flow/profit - much to the detriment of its clients - a lesson that MANY businesses should pay attention to - LI completely ignores large portions of customer satisfaction (we are invisible) and yet promotes business ideals? LOL. A clean up would be an expense but would actually INCREASE their bottom line by bringing in MORE of the right people and MORE money. Sometimes I wonder why I bother. Best to all. 

In short - we agree - but LI essentially has told us all to eff off. 

What to do? 

Bitch or find another way. 

I am always open to ideas. 


Bruce Beswick


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