Dear Linkedin: Mayors, Perverts, and Douchebags

[this is the actual message I sent to LinkedIn when reporting this profile this morning]

More, more, more. Every day dear LinkedIn, come a new batch of fake profiles, fake profiles attached to “companies” (like GreyCampus). Why? Likely culling our private information and selling it to other marketers.

Your response? Crickets.

If you need assistance recruiting better security and algo folks than the ones you have entrusted to maintain the “integrity” (yeah, I’m chuckling a bit as I write this), let me know. After all, you have quoted me in YOUR Modern Recruiter’s Guide monograph – so perhaps I know what I’m taking about.

Oh, and you now owe me 3 InMail credits for reaching out to these #FakeProfileMiscreants. Please email me at the gmail account associated with my profile to confirm this.

Have a nice day.


[the person in the pic is the Mayor of North Brunswick]

[I'll also let you know when I hear back from them]

On another note, I was wondering if the Code of Conduct (I'm assuming there is one) for LinkedIn employees applies to the 300 Billion users they claim to have (oh, did I write "Billion"? Silly me - they aren't claiming that many users, are they?).

Does Constitutional free speech trump all in a "professional" association (this is a real question)?

For instance, there are 21 profiles of "users" who are associated with NAMBLA, simply one of the most heinous groups of deviants on the planet. Can't LinkedIn create a simple freaking algorithm to review profiles before they go live or when changes are made?

Want more? Perform an Advanced Search with "mmmm" in the Last Name field. 77 hits. "xxx" in the Last Name field? 629 hits.

My friend Rithesh Nair suggested I search LinkedIn for "Silly Billy"; sure enough, there are 10 with that First/Last Name combo.

And finally (saved for last in honor of Matt Charney), 11 "users" have "douchebag" as their Last Name but only 4 as their "First Name" (thank God for parents with a conscience).

Ultimately a tool, a team - anything, is only as strong as its weakest link.



Views: 874

Comment by Steve Levy on February 11, 2015 at 4:11pm

Just off the phone with Janine Truitt, who shared with me the response she received when she accepted a connection request from "George Hill-Briggs" (which in hindsight she now knows it was a fake profile):

On 02/06/15 11:30 PM, George Hill-Briggs wrote: 
Hi dear, 

How are you? thanks, nice to connect with you. 

I have to be honest here, I am just looking for a friend, a female friend. Because of the nature of my work I did not have enough time and as a result my love and social life suffered. I just want to make friends with people and to be able to meet someone for possible relationship. 

I'm not sure if you are single but I admire your photo. And I feel you may be a kind person to know and who could introduce someone to me. 
I would love to hear back from you. 

Take care!! 

Searching his image led to [GASP] and this gallery of stars.
Yep, perverts.
Comment by Nicholas Meyler on February 12, 2015 at 2:28am


         I really like the point you are making.  Yesterday, I received an invitation to connect with a Stanford Law School grad (Masters in International Studies), and I obliged, since I tend to respect Stanford people.  Then, he informed me that I had won $1.8 million in the Bahamian lottery, etc. etc....  I checked and found no mention of this individual or his law firm anywhere on the internet....   This kind of thing is really heinous of LinkedIn.  They should be sued or punished or something, at least.

          However, as much as I agree with you that LinkedIn is atrocious [today they sent me a complaint that "There is a problem with your name"... etc.  So I had to re-enter my name into the system (identical to the previous entry)... crazy!]  Back to my point, though: I think that it might be better to drop the super-sarcastic and hyperbolic tone of invective when dealing with them...  I am disgusted, too, but they might respond better to more carefully-worded critiques (and we might also be better able to gain leverage, like class-action lawsuits).  Cogency, logic, coherence, facticity, details, etc. all would help in enumerating LinkedIn's failings.

I do agree with your criticism and I feel similar emotions about LinkedIn, myself.  Still, let's keep level heads and figure out the most rational approach to conquering their obvious stupidity (and the sarcasm might really be lost on them, anyway, if they are as dumb as they seem).


Nick Meyler

Comment by Steve Levy on February 12, 2015 at 7:01am
Nick, thx for chiming in. We've traveled down this road with LinkedIn for years in a car filled with careful words. The response - when there was one - was typical: We're sorry, we take this seriously, etc.

Fake profiles are reported and rarely is there a response. We've even created a @FauxLinkedIn Twitter account where we've been reporting these issues.

A few of will be reaching out to analysts shortly to discuss the problem, its impact, and class action issues.

Romance scams, financial scams, and information scraping do not have a place here; if others can admit - and address - fake account problems, why can't LinkedIn?
Comment by Nicholas Meyler on February 12, 2015 at 4:28pm

Count me in on the class action lawsuit!  Down to action.  No more words.

Comment by Nicholas Meyler on February 19, 2015 at 12:48am

Hi Steve,

           I have to say that LinkedIn hasn't given me any new InMail credits for the past three weeks (well maybe 5), despite a response rate of almost 30%.... also, they are telling me that I have already responded to hundreds of emails which I haven't had a chance to respond to, yet... clearly massive bugs in the system.  Or, deliberate sabotage.   I remember speaking with one of their sales reps one time, and she told me "You better spend as much money as you possibly can afford on our products, because we'll always find ways to screw you if you don't"... nice sales pitch!


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