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LinkedIn Invites Gone Wild: How To Keep Close With Exes and Strangers 164

sholto writes "An aggressive expansion strategy by LinkedIn has backfired spectacularly amid accusations of identity fraud. Users complained the social network sent unrequested invites from their accounts to contacts and complete strangers, often with embarrassing results. One man claimed LinkedIn sent an invite from his account to an ex-girlfriend he broke up with 12 years ago who had moved state, changed her surname and her email address. ... 'This ex-girlfriend's Linked in profile has exactly ONE contact, ME. My wife keeps getting messages asking 'would you like to link to (her)? You have 1 contact in common!,' wrote Michael Caputo, a literary agent from Massachussetts."
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LinkedIn Invites Gone Wild: How To Keep Close With Exes and Strangers

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  • Fraud (Score:4, Insightful)

    by schneidafunk ( 795759 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:08PM (#43483541)
    How is this not considered criminal activity? Could LinkedIn just be the target of a spoofing campaign? I have a hard time believing they could be so stupid.
    • Re:Fraud (Score:5, Insightful)

      by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:13PM (#43483581) Homepage Journal

      My previous employer made me get a linkedin account. It is the single most spammy thing I've ever signed up for.
      "Do you know former employee of customer of previous previous employer?" Fuck. Off.

      • Re:Fraud (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:30PM (#43483759)

        Weird. I use LinkedIn both as a recruiting tool and as a connection tool with recruiters (I get between 3 and 5 calls a week from it) and I haven't seen anything of the sort.

        Maybe this is because I took the time to disable such notifications? I don't know but I'd be willing to bet that's the cause.

        LinkedIn is like any other social network; people must take the time to protect their online identities and communications from the tool.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          It's not reasonable to have to protect my "online identity and communications" from a tool that I have purposefully decided NOT to use.
      • by SuperBanana ( 662181 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:44PM (#43483911)

        Second hit for "linkedin email preferences." You're on Slashdot, and you don't know how to do this?

        http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/67 [slashdot.org]

        Email notifications can be added, changed, or stopped in the Email Preferences section of the Settings page [...] The following options are available:

                Individual Email
                Daily Digest Email
                Weekly Digest Email
              No Email

    • by gaudior ( 113467 ) <marktjohns&gmail,com> on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:17PM (#43483611) Homepage
      LinkedIn has always seemed shady to me. I joined a few years ago, and got inundated with requests from people who seemed to do nothing with their time but offer to show me how to accumulate linked-in followers. My ex and I were simultaneously suggested to each other as contacts, probably because we still share some friends in common. Neither of us requested anything. I think the whole thing is just another social-media wank-fest, like twitter or google+.
    • Re:Fraud (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:23PM (#43483681) Journal

      I knew something was up when I got an invite to connect with a guy I used to work for - dude was a royal dickhole as an executive, bad enough that I left the company specifically because of his craptastic management style.

      Seeing an invite from him was enough to make my shudder in revulsion, and I'm sure the feeling would have been mutual.

      • by sribe ( 304414 )

        ...and I'm sure the feeling would have been mutual.

        Probably not, actually. People like that tend to have such restricted self-awareness and such finely-hone rationalization skills, that no matter how explicit you were when leaving that you hated his guts, he now thinks it was just a bad time for you and that you'd be glad to reconnect, having realized that you were being a bit overwrought at the time ;-)

        • His self-awareness must be as dull as a lead brick, then - after I (and a handful of other critical folks) left, the CxO's threw a fit and sacked him in the hardest possible way.

          • by sribe ( 304414 )

            His self-awareness must be as dull as a lead brick, then - after I (and a handful of other critical folks) left, the CxO's threw a fit and sacked him in the hardest possible way.

            I've had literal screaming cursing matches with a boss-type, telling him what a miserable person he was, and sent email to the board of directors spelling out what was going on, and within months he thought we were old friends. It really is hard to get a grasp on the delusions inside the head of the narcissist, but it is a useful skill to cultivate...

            • ... within months he thought we were old friends
              Nothing gets the point across like a surprise evisceration.

              • by sribe ( 304414 )

                Nothing gets the point across like a surprise evisceration.

                I swear to you, I don't think that would have done it ;-)

    • Re:Fraud (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:35PM (#43483801)

      Linkedin is exactly like the business culture it was meant to serve.

      Sleazy, smarmy, greedy, dishonest, sycophantic, treacherous, fraudulent. Simply the core values of American business.

      • Re:Fraud (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Raistlin77 ( 754120 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:41PM (#43483887)

        Linkedin is exactly like the business culture it was meant to serve.

        Sleazy, smarmy, greedy, dishonest, sycophantic, treacherous, fraudulent. Simply the core values of global business.


        • by arth1 ( 260657 )

          No, those are not global core values.

          Not all businesses are in it to make as much profit as possible. Many older businesses in the old world are in it to provide continuity and a place to work, not just now, but decades down the road. Money is only a means to accomplish that.

    • Considering this is the same LinkedIn that REQUIRES you to unsubscribe repeatedly from getting their spam invite reminders every time someone thinks they know you, I find it completely likely that they are so stupid.
    • I have a hard time believing they could be so stupid.

      You have a hard time believing that a organization* could be how stupid? :p

      *Seriously, they're just machines and, as such, they tend to be at least as dumb as the dumbest components** they're assembled from.

      **If you ever get out and about one of these days, you know, in public... take a look around you (but do not, I repeat, do not turn on your television, as that will skew the results too far in the other direction; sure, we're dumb... but we're not that dumb... okay, yes, we are.) :p

    • by udippel ( 562132 )

      How is this not considered criminal activity? Could LinkedIn just be the target of a spoofing campaign? I have a hard time believing they could be so stupid.

      No. Over.
      I submitted a story some three weeks ago on exactly the same; miraculously (??) mine was finally not accepted. It was the sad and silly story of how 584 invites were sent, without me actually authorising the sending. Including to a good hundred addresses of people where I had applied for a job, but obtained a refusal. The funniest was my landlord, who got an invite on the same day when he received my resignation from the rental contract. Partially out of disgust with his 'business model'. And he kn

      • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

        I am dealing with a woman who is in court because she has a restraining order and LinkedIn emailed her ex-husband with something that appears to be from her. She knew nothing about it. He is accusing her of contacting him and violating the restraining order. After looking at the email, I can understand their point - it does appear to be from her.

    • I have a hard time believing they could be so stupid.

      I don't have a problem believing it.

      I'm seriously considering shutting down my Linked-In account because of the amount of idiots using it who are stupid enough to send me recruitment spam, despite me saying very explicitly in my CV that I'm not looking for work. Way to prove that you don't read the CVs of people you try to sell your recruitment services to!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:17PM (#43483605)

    From what I can gather, people are using the "upload your contact list" / "connect to your email account" feature, without realizing that it automatically sends out invites to your contacts. I'm pretty sure it spells that out quite plainly, though; at least I vaguely recall that it did last time I decided not to use the feature.

    • I'd like to file an exception to your hypothesis - I always left that stupid thing off, and yet I got an odd invite from a guy I positively detested (both as a manager and otherwise)

      • You may have been in his email list, or possibly both of you in a 3rd person's list. Has anyone absolutely verified that they received an invite from someone who didn't send one?

      • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

        I met an old acquaintance in a deli that I hadn't seen since grade school. When I got back to my office, my Linked page suggested I might know this person. I looked out at the parking lot to see if there was a LinkedIn van following me! That was creepy. Then I figured out that the person must have looked at my profile, and that was enough to trigger it.

    • by obarel ( 670863 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @01:34PM (#43484503)

      I'm pretty sure you're right.

      I hardly pay attention to most of what I read online, especially when I'm on LinkedIn (I'm trying not to look at adverts, so I miss the content as well).

      I found myself once entering my LinkedIn password into some "password" input box, which, as I wasn't paying much attention, I thought was LinkedIn's "your session has expired". However, it rejected the password, which made me look again. I was entering my password into the "we've got your email address, now just give us the password" box. As I have different passwords for different things, no problem. But I'm sure that some people use the same password for everything, and suddenly LinkedIn sends an email to every contact on their gmail account.

    • Yahoo did something similar to this a few (four? five?) years ago when it was also trying to roll out a "social media" flavor-of-the-year. When you logged in, you'd see a sidebar (on the right, if I remember correctly) saying "XYZZ has been trying to reach you." Now, remember kids, this is on the yahoo web-mail page when you log in, so it's not just spam mailed by someone's account which was hijacked by a virus. It was actually a notification on the web user interface for their webmail. I ended up getti
    • In addition to that, take into account that there are some mail clients (both web and desktop) that add email addresses to contact list when you send a mail (or when you send x number of emails) to them.

      I hate that feature. I hate the mindless "send this crap to everybody you know" features. I hate it more when people uses distribution lists from work to join social networks, and everybody gets spammed by the site.

  • by wcrowe ( 94389 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:18PM (#43483627)

    I've been wondering about that for a while now. I get LinkedIn invites that seem unlikely. They have all the hallmarks of some automated process unknown to the user.

    • All the invites I receive are unlikely as I'm not on LinkedIn. Straight to spam they go...

      • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

        All the invites I receive are unlikely as I'm not on LinkedIn. Straight to spam they go...

        ehm. linkedin - or rather a person using it - sends invites to people on your contact lists if you want to or potentials. if some friend of yours who has your email on their gmail or whatever account they're linking with linkedin just forward presses through it then it's likely you're getting an invite(to join the service and hook up).

        me, I haven't used linkedin in 6 years or something. badly employed people keep telling me I should get back on.. but eh, why would I want spam from wanabe headhunters who do

    • I would get introduced to family of a headhunter I used 8 years ago once.

    • by DeBaas ( 470886 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @01:29PM (#43484425) Homepage

      Those are probably not from Linkedin. Spammers are sending mail that looks linkedin in now as well. Gmail seems very good in separating real Linkedin and spam looking like Linkedin.

      My issue with Linkedin is that I keep on getting spam from them with an offer for a free month of premium access. Note to Linkedin: if I have to supply credit card details: IT AIN'T FREE!!


    • It is spam; mark it as spam.
  • by Quirkz ( 1206400 ) <ross.quirkz@com> on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:18PM (#43483629) Homepage

    They've always been aggressive and aggravating, as far as I'm concerned. When a family member signed up with them I got a request. And another. And another. And they kept coming. I finally followed a link and told them to shut up and stop bothering me, but then another associate signed up and it started all over again. I can understand one invite, but they sent far more than was warranted, or could be considered reasonable or polite. I refuse to use them, not just because of the grudge, but also because I don't want them spamming friends or family based on my registration.

    • by Tom ( 822 )

      aggravating is putting it nicely, I'd equate them to cancer - once you're in their database, it's almost impossible to get rid of them.

      I never had an account, but people I know apparently had. When it started to get annoying, I told them to stop, then I told them to fuck off, then I told them "stop or lawyer" - that apparently finally worked.

    • Heh, I opened a FB account about 3yrs ago, used it once to talk to someone I know. Every second day since then I have received an "you have X friend requests" email.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This is exactly why I never let Linkedin access my contacts even though it bitches every single time I log on. Think it's time to delete my account now, it served its purpose and I'm employed.

  • by jtara ( 133429 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:20PM (#43483653)

    While I find the constant barrage of "do you know" messages annoying, it's pretty clear to me what they are: a message from LinkedIn (NOT the person you might or might not know) asking if you might know this person, and sugesting that you invite THEM.

    Once you click through on one of these, you get the standard LinkedIn invitation request. You are asked to make a selection as to how you know this person. If you check "I don't know this person", then you need to know their email address in order to complete the invitation. AS WITH ANY Linked-In invitation.

    The annoying messages are NOT invitations, though, you AREN'T automatically connected by responding to them (the other person would have to approve) and they AREN'T sent from the other person's account. It's pretty clear they are sent by LinkedIn, trying to drum-up more connections.

    • Sloppy reporting, or just that other people have had different experiences with Linkedin? Isn't it possible, that while you've only gotten "do you know" messages, that the people interviewed in TFA have in fact had invites sent out on their behalf but without their knowledge or approval? TFA says that users are reporting that Linkedin is placing invite restrictions on their accounts for sending out too many invites to people they don't know when they swear they haven't sent them.

    • It's obvious to me too, but I'm a computer nerd and odds are you are too. It irritates me to think people not familiar with computers think *I* am the one spamming them.
    • I don't believe that's true. I keep getting messages supposedly from people asking me to "endorse" there experience in one way or another. But they are from people that wouldn't ask me such a thing.

      Is there any actual point to LinkedIn? Does anyone actually ever do any networking that way? I haven't noticed any in the years that I've lazily had an account. It's about time I shut the account down.

      • by tnk1 ( 899206 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @01:04PM (#43484143)

        Yes, it does have a point. That's how the Google recruiter found me, without me soliciting them first.

        It's much like any other social media site, but it does have the one saving grace that you can actually find jobs with it. Thus, it is the only social media site that I put any effort into whatsoever.

        Still, just like any other social media site, you would be a fool to give them anything but your most tailored information, and certainly not your raw contact list.

      • by jtara ( 133429 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @01:06PM (#43484177)

        "endorse" is a completely different, new, feature.

        The endorsement messages do not come from the individuals you might endorse. Again, these are generated by LinkedIn, and the language makes that clear. Did you actually read them?

        LinkedIn is asking you to validate that one of your connections "knows" some skill that they have listed.

        I like the feature myself. It's meant as a bit of a BS filter, to give some credibility to people's claims. If you've got 100 connections and say you know "x", and nobody endorses you for "x", there's a good chance you're just making it up.

        It's actually fun. Whenever I go on LinkedIn (which isn't very often) I'll plink-off a few, knowing that I'm helping people I've worked with validate their skills. If I worked with a person who was doing "x" when I worked with them, and I'm asked to endorse them for "x", I endorse them for "x". If I know they are BSing or simply don't know, maybe because their experience with "x" was later, then I pass it by. It's the way it's supposed to work. (There is no negative endorsement.)

        Obviously, though, it will take time for the system to work, since it is a fairly new feature.

        Does anybody use LinkedIn? I do. It's replaced my resume'. However, I don't follow the standard resume' advice to keep it to recent history. I've been a developer for 30+ years. Every job I've ever had is listed.

        • The endorsement messages do not come from the individuals you might endorse. Again, these are generated by LinkedIn, and the language makes that clear. Did you actually read them?

          Here's one, only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Needless to say there's no chance Roland wrote this.

          "Roland Rat is requesting an endorsement for work

          Dear Basil,
          I'm sending this to ask you for a brief recommendation of my work that I can include in my LinkedIn profile. If you have any questions, let me know.

          Thanks in advance for helping me out.

          -Roland Rat"

          LinkedIn are liars.

          • by jtara ( 133429 )

            OK, yes, that is different. You can request an endorsement as well. That's different from the "does so-and-so know "x"" messgaes.

            So, did you ask Roland Rat if he made an endorsement request?

        • by jrumney ( 197329 )

          Endorse isn't a new feature, I endorsed one of my ex-colleagues who went freelancing years ago. What is new, is that it has become part of the general fake spaminess of LinkedIn that caused me to close my account a few months back.

      • by hoggoth ( 414195 )

        I kept getting weird endorsements, like an endorsement for "Perl" from someone who needs help to find the ON button on his computer, and certainly has no idea what Perl is or why I should be endorsed for it.
        So I added a new skill to my profile: "Cromulence". Now I can catch all the blind endorsements from people who don't know what they are clicking on.

    • I don't think they're talking about the "do you know" messages that everyone knows. They're talking about automatic invites to connect with someone else.

      For instance, I was a Teaching Assistant when I was in grad school up until a few years ago, so hundreds of my former students have my e-mail address. As those students have been graduating and signing up for LinkedIn, one of the first things it does is ask them if they want to connect their Gmail contacts to LinkedIn, and many of them do that, resulting in

  • by larry bagina ( 561269 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:21PM (#43483661) Journal
    have a three-some!
  • simple solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:27PM (#43483721) Homepage
    * H ?? ^From: .*@linkedin\.com
    Linkedin is to employment as pakistani callcenters are to recruiting. I consider it another "social" site into which people excrete personal details and act perplexed when they receive an influx of redplum junkettes and robocalls. i save my "professional networking" for SCALE, LISA, and pertanent mailing lists.
  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:40PM (#43483867) Homepage Journal

    I attend an AI group [meetup.com] in Boston (for about two years ongoing) and I've learned to not give out my E-mail for this very reason.

    Giving an E-mail address results in them entering it into LinkedIn, which results in me being spammed forever by that system. People I've never heard of send messages "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" (some store owner in a distant city).

    The message has a convenient opt-out link, whose page is hilariously ambiguous:

    "You're receiving these emails because a LinkedIn member invited you to become a part of their professional network. By clicking the "Unsubscribe" button, you will stop receiving these emails"

    Two checkboxes below are labelled "Invitations to connect" and "Reminders to connect".

    It took me awhile to realize that you have to *check* the boxes to stop receiving E-mails, instead of *uncheck* the boxes which is how pretty-much all other sites handle it.

    I've never seen a compelling need for this LinkedIn service. Sure, if a member could manage their contacts effectively it might be useful, but the system auto-encourages bigger and more comprehensive webs... which are at the same time less and less useful.

    My impression is that many of the people on the site are "salesmen" types, who think contact circles indicate how impressive they are. Professional networks just for the purpose of having professional networks.

    Thanks, but no thanks. The address-book in my E-mail client works just fine. It even lets me add notes about the person - where I met them, what they do, &c.

    It also doesn't hold my contact info up for everyone to see.

    • by Inda ( 580031 )
      "results in me being spammed forever by that system"

      I've never been a user of LinkedIn and I was constantly spammed about buying carpet. Carpet from a supplier 200 miles away who I'd never had any contact with.

      So I fired off a short email to LinkedIn and they told me that I should be happy that people want to do business with me.

      In the end, LinkedIn blocked my email address and now I'm happy. Get them to block your email address - they have processes to deal with it.
  • How it works (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:41PM (#43483881)

    I guess most people aren't aware of how this actually works. Notice that if you visit LinkedIn on a computer that you normally use, it already knows who you are without having to sign in. So when you think you are casually using LinkedIn to look up an old girlfriend or co-worker that you detest, it logs that activity. Then it WAITS A FEW DAYS AND THEN ASKS THAT PERSON IF THEY KNOW YOU. Yes, it is that creepy.

    • by chooks ( 71012 )

      That happened to me with my ex-girlfriend. All of a sudden she popped up on my "You may know..." list. Needless to say, it was duly ignored. Her step-dad also showed up one day as well...Not sure if he looked me up or if she used his computer.

      Either way, my wife and I had a good laugh about it. My main point to her was that it was kind of cool knowing how these things work (an underlying machine learning algorithm to group things, I would guess). She is glad she married a nerd.

  • I've been getting what I thought were phony LinkedIn invites. I thought they were some kind of spam, and set up a mail filter to drop them. Is LinkedIn itself sending those?

    • Most of the spam I currently get is in the form of fake LinkedIn messages, so you're probably right.

      Gmails filters them all out while letting real ones through. It's easy to check since I use a different address for LinkedIn that forwards to my gmail account.

      I sometimes get link requests from recruiters who claim they've worked with me in the past. I don't know if there's some advantage to that over just asking to link to me (other than trying to fool me).

  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:42PM (#43483891) Homepage

    So many of these sites do that "hey, give us your username and password and we'll find people for you".

    No way no how would I give any of them my password for my email account to sift through and find people. If I want to put information in there, I'll do it myself.

    Though, it wouldn't surprise me if they used some other annoying mechanism to do these invites the user didn't do.

    Like all social networking, your contacts and friends are extremely valuable to them. They want to expand it as much as possible, and might get a little overzealous in doing that.

    As it is, I periodically get invites from people I don't know in LinkedIn, but if I don't know you or haven't worked with you, it's not happening.

  • by Registered Coward v2 ( 447531 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:47PM (#43483947)
    Early on, it was a good way to reconnect with old friends and the groups actually had decent discussions. Most groups have devolved into a few people arguing amongst themselves (one even has become one person talking to themselves)and a place for people to self promote. For a while there many posts I saw were form bogus job offers and SEO spammers. I still use it to search for old friends but if I get a request from an unknown person I refuse it.
  • The snake will always end up eating its tail. They will always find enough rope to hang themselves, etc.
  • I had never signed with them up but after getting email invites almost daily to several email accounts, and unsubscribing many times, I finally added them to my blocked senders list. The people I get these invites from I already know on facebook and other sites anyway.
  • by kamapuaa ( 555446 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @12:57PM (#43484059) Homepage

    Now to convince my girlfriend that I wasn't looking through my ex's Facebook photo albums!

  • by Sydin ( 2598829 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @01:15PM (#43484259)
    Both of them are hungry for all the personal data they can get their hands on, so that they can turn around and sell anything to you, and sell you to anything. The problem is that while I'm completely in control of my choice to have a Facebook account (read: I don't have a facebook account), my most recent employer requires me to have a LinkedIn profile. Moreover, a lot of tech firms won't even consider you if they can't find you on LinkedIn. It's a horrible site, but unfortunately everybody expects you to play the game.
    • . . . my most recent employer requires me to have a LinkedIn profile. Moreover, a lot of tech firms won't even consider you if they can't find you on LinkedIn. It's a horrible site, but unfortunately everybody expects you to play the game.

      I saw a story in Wired [wired.com] this week about that. I just can't do it, though. I was on LinkedIn for a while, saw no value to it. I really didn't want to know about people that I didn't like in the first place getting promoted. I killed my account a while back. If it hurts my prospects, so be it.

    • The one thing that makes LinkedIn not quite as bad as Facebook is that what's public on LinkedIn is exactly what you want to be public: Your professional accomplishments.

      By contrast, Facebook wants you to give up information that's regularly stuff I'd want to be kept private, such as the names of all my ex's and exactly what I did with each of them.

  • by nblender ( 741424 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @01:32PM (#43484485)

    I still don't have a LI account (nor facebook nor twitter, nor g+)... I'm being told that being on LinkedIn is more or less obligatory if I want to have a reasonable chance of not being ignored by a hiring manager or HR drone. I'm being told this by colleagues and friends, a few of whom are hiring managers. I've been operating under the assumption that my reputation is enough to get me hired (as has been the case for at least 25 years) but what I'm hearing now is that if I don't show up on LinkedIn, my resume gets tossed.. I'm offended by the very idea and like to console myself that I probably don't want to work for anyone who filters resumes this way... Unfortunately, I'm approaching my sunset years and may not be able to afford to restrict my employment opportunities should I suddenly find myself unemployed.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      There are recruiters that will toss your resume if they can't find information about you, but not all. I know several younger generation recruiters, including my sister-in-law, and they do use it heavily nowadays.

      However, there is a value to it if you know how to restrict from the features that do not add value. The features that don't add value are individual to you however. I know several people who are involved with small businesses and startups in a marketing function, and many small companies want t

    • by Micahsa ( 815660 )

      I was contacted by a recruiter specifically due to my LI profile. We talked, she connected me with the HR manager at the firm I'm at now, and when I asked about sending in a resume the HR manager responded "we have your LinkedIn profile which looks pretty current. Just update that if there's something else we should know."

      I was hired with 30 days.

      So for all the talk of spam and such, I am religious about updating my profile, accomplishments, and ensuring my network includes those who would be beneficial i

  • >> ex-girlfriend's Linked in profile has exactly ONE contact, ME.

    Yeah...I'd be worried about my wife talking to her too. Either this relationship ain't over, or it's time to unfriend this stalker.

  • I use LinkedIn like I used to use Plaxo--for an up to date contact list. Whenever I get someone's business card, I add them on LinkedIn and throw the card away. I don't see what the big deal is. I set the email prefs so LI never emails me ever, so it doesn't bug me. I will say I've accidentally sent out a lot of invites to random strangers because if you browse the "the people you may know" list on the iPad you can easily accidentally tap a profile instead of swiping to scroll which sends an invite out.
  • by Sir Holo ( 531007 ) on Thursday April 18, 2013 @03:43PM (#43486153)
    I've had a LinkedIn account for a decade or so. During most of that time, it was just a place to post my CV details, and to "link" to other professionals that I know. No longer.

    Now, when I go to LinkedIn, they suggest numerous people as "People You May Know." Fine, let's take a look:

    * my psychiatrist (who even knows that I have one!?!)
    * the guy who painted my condo five years ago
    * an ex-roommate from 11 years ago
    * an acupuncturist who I used three times, in another city, eight years ago
    * a casual acquaintance from 10 years ago (who may have sent me an invite)
    * someone whose only connection to me is a one-time dance, and is a "FB friend." No emails between us
    * a guy I shared an office with, but who was a jerk, so we never exchanged emails
    * a guy who formerly lived in my condo complex
    * a guy who was the grad-school advisor of a former workplace colleague, but whom I never socialized with
    * a researcher at another lab, who I have only ever talked to once, and have never emailed
    * a years-ago dance instructor whom I only ever contacted twice, via phone
    * a guy whom I co-authored a single scientific paper with years ago, and emailed only once
    * various students who have taken my courses
    * a woman who worked at the same company I worked at, but whom I never had an email contact with (outside of the company's proprietary and encrypted Lotus Notes system)
    * a former program manager at a lab I formerly worked at, 10 years ago, whom I only interacted with in person (no email)
    * another guy I co-authored a journal article with, but never contacted by email outside my former employer's encrypted LotusNotes email system
    * my former accountant
    * a former frat brother, from 15 years ago, whom I have never emailed
    * various program managers at national funding agencies whom I have contacted in the past via phone/email
    * several former colleagues that I never emailed, but had only verbal contact with, from a lab 12 years ago
    * a professor whom I emailed only once, 12 years ago regarding a postdoc position, but never met
    * the son of a former colleague, who I ever only heard about in lunch conversation, and never interacted with
    * a roommate from 10 years ago
    * a prof I took an undergrad course from 19 years ago
    * lots of profs and researchers whom I know professionally and personally, but whom I have never emailed
    * plus lots of false hits...

    Very creepy, and really, in a couple of cases violating HIPPA regulations through their disclosure of who-knows-whom.

    Where are they mining? People's email address books, certainly. But probably also my bank, author lists on publications, speaker lists at conferences, and perhaps people who simply look up my profile.

    Too creepy. I will soon cancel my LinkedIn account, and just make a website bearing my name (I already own the domain), so that people can find me without all of this creepy gray-zone crap.
    • > Too creepy. I will soon cancel my LinkedIn account, and just make a website bearing my name (I already own the domain), so that people can find me without all of this creepy gray-zone crap.

      Serendipity. Back in the early days of the web, I spent a minor fortune on a domain of my real name and a set of fixed IP addresses to the house on a (then) high speed connection so I could have an internet presence under my absolute control. It still exists (using dyndns now) but hasn't been updated in years, due

    • Very creepy, and really, in a couple of cases violating HIPPA[sic] regulations through their disclosure of who-knows-whom.

      I assume you mean HIPAA? How is LinkedIn bound by being HIPAA compliant?

      http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/srsummary.html [hhs.gov]

      The only privacy agreement they are under is the one you (and millions of others) signed up for AND agreed to.
      I truly hope you are not shocked to hear this; but, they sell your information by data mining the heck out of it and categorizing you (and millions of others) into nice little packages of "Would probably buy" product X. Advertisers stumble over themselves attempt

      • Yes, I meant HIPAA.

        Also, I meant that whoever provided LinkedIn with that information was possibly in violation. Entities that know the connection are my insurer, the psychiatrist, and other medical professionals, any of which would have been in violation of HIPAA for this. Three other entities, my bank, cell provider, and email provider, would of course not be subject to such constraints. Oh, some attorneys knew also, but no public filings; private settlement.

        Web-footprints seem doubtful in this cas
    • by gl4ss ( 559668 )

      well, they're also mining former jobs. explaining a bunch of them.

      I never get linkedin spam.

      why? I've lost access to the email account I got on my linkedin profile! PERFECT!

  • Back in the day, linkedin used to be a useful way of connecting with people in the industry. I ignore "people you may know" (note to linkedin: if I may know them and I'm not currently connected, there may be a reason) but the real annoyance is the continuous request to link with obvious dummy contacts for marketing groups. That is, linked in requests to spam. And THEN, and then, there are the linked in requests that *are* themselves spam. "Arianna Dateme has requested a link with you. 'Hi, Ron, when I

  • Wow, all this butt-hurt over a site that nobody is forcing you to use, which sends invitations nobody is forcing you to read. Personally I like LinkedIn, and don't think I've been spammed inappropriately or offended by any content it's displayed to me. If you don't feel the same way, you're free to cancel your account. What's the big deal? So much outrage!

  • ...that LinkedIn will be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

    I also hope that it will come really soon.

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson