LinkedIn Policy Is Guilty Until Proven Innocent

LinkedIn, LinkedIn Jury Box, LinkedIn Guilty Until Proven Innocent, LinkedIn Guilty“Guilty until proven innocent” is the message that LinkedIn is sending with one of their recent changes (and there have been many) that you probably have not heard about.  LinkedIn is making a concerted effort to reduce spam in groups.  That’s a good thing!  The problem is, they’ve created a new policy that’s an over-reaction along the lines of throwing the baby out with the bath water.

Group managers in LinkedIn have a lot of power.  They can create rules for their group and decide if group membership should be open to all or closed (requiring approval).  As a closed group, they’re able to create criteria to join the group.  They have the ability to restrict the types of discussion posts that are allowed.  They could move a discussion to a promotions or jobs board instead of the main discussion board.  Group managers are able to delete a discussion they felt was inappropriate for whatever reason.  Further, should a group member be a repeat offender or have an egregious post, a group manager could place that member into a restrictive status where future posts would have to be moderated for approval.  As a final step, group managers have the ability to remove someone from a group and/or block them.

That’s a lot of power!  And as a Voltaire (allegedly) originally said (in French), “with great power comes great responsibility.”  If you belong to groups on LinkedIn, you undoubtedly belong to some groups that are managed well and some that do not.  That’s either the hard work and dedication of good group managers or the failure of poor ones.  Either way, it’s on the managers’ shoulders (and should be).

LinkedIn now has a policy that if one group manager or owner flags just one of your discussion threads as spam, your account is flagged as a spammer.  As a result, your account is flagged for moderation in every group you belong to, not just the group that originally flagged you.  It’s automatic.  There’s no review of your posting history.  There’s no investigation to see if what was posted was truly spam.  There’s no appeals process.  You’re guilty.  Period.

What constitutes “spam” becomes arbitrary and inconsistent.  If you want to be unrestricted, you have to ask the group owner/manager of every group you’re a member of to remove you from moderation.  It places additional administrative work on both the user and the group owner/manager.  Rather than letting managers manage the groups the way they want to, LinkedIn has become “Big Brother” and will paint its users with a broad brush, fairly or unfairly.

Yes, LinkedIn is a free site and they get to make their own rules.  But, with great power comes great responsibility.  Unfortunately, LinkedIn’s efforts to curtail spam by assuming guilty until proven innocent is lacking responsibility.  What’s your opinion of LinkedIn’s policy?  Is it appropriate?  Effective?  An over-reaction?

Update as of March 20, 2013:  Read my follow-up post here:  http://wp.me/p1LHj0-n7

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59 thoughts on “LinkedIn Policy Is Guilty Until Proven Innocent

  1. I agree with this one when I introduced my self in a group and add a link or two so people would see want I was about I was kicked out of the group and I not a spammer. I was treated the same way at Google+. I think the spammers has messed it up for everyone that is trying to do it right
    good post

    • Thanks for commenting.

      I think LinkedIn should let group managers manage the way they see fit for their group. But if they must get involved, at least have a system in place for multiple violations and/or a review/appeals process rather than 1 strike and you’re branded as a spammer.

      Presently, a group manager with a personal axe to grind could flag a completely legit and on-topic post as spam. How is that fair?

      And with RSS feeds about to disappear from groups, this really could curtail valuable discussions more-so than spam.

      • If you are branded a spammer they make sure to tell all managers too. This will really affect there user count because people will get discussed with them and move on

      • Arthur:

        Those “video ads” showed up with little fanfare and caught quite a number of folks off guard!
        Apparently even WordPress has evolved to the point where they’re having to focus on monetization, like so many other online services.

        First, a quick outline of the circumstances, for those unaware:
        a) art***ello.wordpress.com is simply a sub-domain of wordpress.com.
        b) as such, your wordpress “installation” lives on their (wordpress’s) servers.
        – (hence their ability to just “add videos” to the end of your page at will)

        My own solution, while a bit eccentric, might be useful to you (or perhaps to some of your other readers):

        1) I had an ‘old’ PC (Windows 98 era) in the bottom of a closet.
        2) With a couple evenings research (how-tos, etc.) I was able to (surprisingly) easily set the old PC up as a LAMP server (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) for zero dollars.
        Obviously, I now have a small dedicated server to house/manage my wordpress installations (I have several instances for blogging, etc.on the same pc/server)

        <Now I have absolute control over content (as well as other benefits from having a SOHO server)…

        3) WordPress.com currently wants $30 US per year, per blog, for no ads (as you mentioned)!

        DynDNS (simply my own preference, there are many other services) offers exceptionally inexpensive domain forwarding packages.
        I pay $12 (IIRC) a year to have domains forwarded to my SOHO (small office home office server)…
        …and that covers 32 possible domains to forward!!!

        For example… I have a dozen different domain aliases (such as: atokad.is-a-geek.net, atokad.homeip.net, etc.) and for that minimal cost they are all automatically directed to my own server.

        The advantage here is that I have complete ownership and control (both access and content), for a fraction of the cost of a single ad-free WordPress sub-domain.
        The disadvantage (and I don't actually see it as such) is that I have to maintain my own software installations.

        So… for anyone wishing to have better (and ad-free) control, it really costs less than a decent supper for me to have my own web/file/blog server, and absolute control over any sudden (or unexpected) changes to either policy or content.

        Feel free to get in touch with me if you'd like any more information or help with transitioning from "their playground" to "mine/yours". I'd be happy to lend whatever assistance I can.

        Regards,

        Dave

  2. As a group leader on LinkedIn, this change is not welcomed. It assumes that each group is run the same way and that the leader’s criteria is consistent. This points to another reason why owning your own space and building a community (yes Arthur do the upgrade) is the best alternative.

  3. Arthur,

    Good post and good points. Funny isn’t it how one of the most important inventions in modern history, the World Wide Wed, has relased the power of knowledge but is sometimes governed in a Machiavellian way.

    John

  4. Spot on Arthur. It seems that responsible group managers will now be treated as irresponsible ones. I belong to many groups. Recently, I have been reducing my membership because 1.There are few current postings or 2. Because of continuous self promotion by members.

    I enjoy a professional discussion on legitimate topics. I was really skeptical when LinkedIn allowed and even encouraged groups to be ‘open’. Most of the groups that have chosen that route are not on my list.

    • Thank you for commenting Gary. When responsible posters are unfairly labeled as spammers, you’ll see their discussion posts start to dwindle. In mid-March, LinkedIn is pulling the plug on allowing RSS feeds in groups, so you’ll see even less postings and discussions within groups.

      Various LinkedIn groups are run differently – and that’s a good thing. With over 1.2 million groups on LinkedIn, if you don’t find a group valuable or like the way it’s run, you can leave it and join another.

      If LinkedIn wants to do circumvent the power they’ve given to group owners/managers, then they need to consider a system that allows for an appeal. Without it, any group manager/owner can flag anyone as a spammer – whether that’s true/untrue or fair/unfair. They can do it based on a personal grudge. And, it assumes that there’s a universal definition of “spam” that group owners/managers share, which is obviously not the case.

      Their new policy is highly flawed and needs to be changed.

  5. Arthur: Great post and this issue really needs to get brought to the forefront of the whole idea of LinkedIn and networking. I’m reminded of the whole debate about LI suggesting you connect with people (think about it, it is written everywhere on LinkedIn), but you only get 5 chances of “I don’t Know” before you get bitten. And I 100% agree that this is a slippery slope of epic proportion on so many levels. I gave Betsy below a written dissertation about why this policy is wrong.

    Arthur I was mistaken about the policy being “officially” issued about your latest topic. There still isn’t an official version after checking today, but I figured I would share what an employee from the help center wrote back to me.
    Here it is, and keep in mind, this is after the post revelation that after a group owner does change your permissions, your profile is still moderated.

    ==================== message File Attachment ====================
    Attachment 1 (Message,Rfc822), 19568 bytes, added to ticket

    LinkedIn Response 01/30/2013 10:28

    Hi Kimberly,

    I can understand your frustration, but you can still contact the group management for a group you want to post to and they can approve you to post without reviewing your submissions. This decision is ultimately left to the management of each group and so we do not interfere in lifting the permissions for the group’s management.

    I will submit your feedback on this restriction to our engineers, however, in this time, you will need to contact the management of a group to lift the permission in a particular group and they can lift it immediately with that group. If the manager is having trouble finding how to lift this permission for you, please have them contact us.

    Please refer to the steps in my last message for help in lifting your posting permissions.

    Sincerely,

    Betsy
    Groups Specialist

    • Thank you for sharing that information here Kim!

      In addition to what I wrote and others have commented here, LinkedIn has horrible public relations regarding this. They will ask you multiple times to upgrade your account to a paid, professional level. Why would someone pay them money if/when they’ve been unfairly flagged and penalized as a spammer?!? And I know that your account is already at that paid professional level, yet it hasn’t helped remedy things.

      I love LinkedIn but their policy fails on so many levels.

  6. As a wise manager for whom I worked said: ‘The truth lies somewhere in the middle.”
    – If you don’t like the way a group is managed…. leave the group.
    – If a group’s ‘jobs’ and ‘promotions’ tabs are empty, there’s a good chance ‘discussions’ is in fact, an open-posting forum. If the ‘promotions’ and/or ‘jobs’ tab have content… then if one doesn’t use it then one is either not willing to invest the time to be a valued member of the group or does not care. In this case, I guess we take our chances.
    – I DO see a proliferation that members use ‘discussion’ for blatant self promotion or for job postings, rather than ‘discussion’ that is useful to purpose of the group. Group owners… manage your group(s). If you don’t want to manage (ex: post a public warning to all and a private warning the member) then you maybe you shouldn’t be an owner.
    – If I don’t like the way the ‘free’ service by LinkedIn is being managed…. pay for it or leave it. (Having said that, I don’t know but that the paid-for version also does a ‘spam-one-span all’. I am not in favor of a spam-one-spam-all rule. Many groups DO allow promotions on their discussion sites. I do, for a group I manage as it is very small and no one has ever complained or suggested we do it otherwise. Hence an action that might not be okay on ABC group is, in fact, okay on my group. Giving a warning is fine. It is up to the owners to manage, and the members to ‘walk’, if they don’t like it. In general, it isn’t LinkedIn’s place to manage it for us; rather, they should only give us to tools to do so.
    We are (professional) big boys and girls. Let’s behave like it.

    • Thank you for commenting Janet! Good points! Sadly, the paid version of LinkedIn doesn’t address the spam-one-spam-all designation. Nor does it get you faster resolution or a review of the incident.

      Sadly, I know of at least one recruiter who has been unfairly burned by this rule. Recruiters (who often have paid accounts) can post correctly (discussions in discussions, jobs in jobs, etc.) that are fully appropriate for the group. But if they’re flagged just once (correctly or incorrectly), they’re flagged for moderation across the board. For recruiters, LinkedIn has become a significant tool they use.

      I really think LinkedIn needs to let group managers manage their groups the way they see fit. They’ve had that power all along.

  7. I was once blocked from a group because the leader did not set down any ground rules. Now I see that she was the only one who had the right to post, and it was not a discussion forum. Granted, my posts might have been off-topic, but her job as group leader was to send me a private message stating that she was looking for posts on the topic of business etiquette and not general culture, for instance. The “English Language Skills” group leader has some very specific guidelines to that effect.

    I resent this “throwing the baby out with the bath water” on her part. I attempted to apologize and asked her to remove the “blocked” status, but to no avail. Now I have this black mark on my carbon footprint, when all I wanted to do was share some personal experience. We are not even talking about abusive posts or spam here. So let me publicly proclaim “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxissima culpa” (maxima is already the superlative form so I invented a double suplerlative) even though I maintain my innocence. This was clearly an abuse of power on the group leader’s part.

    • Sorry that happened to you Lori. Thanks for sharing that here.

      If LinkedIn is going to circumvent the group owners’ ability to manage their groups the way they wish to manage them, then there needs to be an appeals process and/or a multiple-violation policy. It should not be “one and done” with no opportunity to see if the post was truly spam.

      I’m guessing that while there’s likely to be common elements, most people have a different definition of what is truly spam. And, groups have different rules, expectations and tolerances. So how is it fair to label someone a spammer across all groups?!

  8. I think part of the problem is that what people consider spam is totally in the eye of the beholder. What someone might consider spam others might find useful. I used to post my blogs in another LinkedIn group until the manager asked me to stop because the topics weren’t relevant to the group. I agreed to do that and only post when there is something I feel is really relevant to that group. It sounds like you don’t get a 3 strikes and you’re out option, it’s more like 1 strike and you’re out. I guess there’s no room for mistakes here.

    • Thank you for commenting Michele – that’s exactly true – no consistent, clear definition of spam and it’s 1 strike without a review/appeals process. You could post something that’s 100% relevant, on-topic and “allowed” according to the group rules. If it gets flagged as spam anyway, your account is flagged for moderation.

      As LinkedIn hopes to upgrade its members to paid accounts, it needs to realize they have to treat their users more fairly.

  9. Arthur: Interesting post and take on what’s been going on with LinkedIn. As a group manager for several groups for over three years, I’ve seen some good things and some not so good stuff.

    Yes, groups come in all sorts of flavors and are managed by owners/managers in many ways. Some are completely absent and let everything and anything gets approved to post, because group settings make it happen that way. Other group owners/managers take a more direct hand and are involved with their groups.

    I manage LinkedIn groups for a living and have been involved in managing groups for the past three years. I have helped create Group Rules that provide a framework and foundation for how the group is operated. These rules (and most group rules) spell out what’s appropriate and what is not. Some groups are very general, but in the groups I help manage, there specific rules pertaining to discussions, promotions, and jobs, that by acceptance into the group, by which members agree.

    For example, in the groups I help manage, we believe that discussions are dialog between and among members. We place a high value on these questions and comments. Anything with a link, however, is moved to promotions. This is because there is not discussion involved, even if a ‘what do you think?” question is tacked on to the end. Stuff that gets put in promotions – events, books, articles, blogs, etc, don’t invite discussion, and nine times out of ten, they are blasted by members to every group to which they belong. Some would call this spam, although not the egregious type LinkedIn hopes to contain. These days, everyone has a blog and opinion on lots of stuff. We routinely delete blogs unless the view and source is well-known and has a track record of strong contributions. Most of those that are deleted.

    To the issues your blog addresses, there is something that needs an explanation, at least from a group manager’s perspective. First RSS feeds. When I started moderating and managing groups, these were a pain in the butt. Some were useful, most were very questionable. Group owners/managers could manage these, but most did not. Because the groups I help manage is high on interactions between members, RSS feeds were a distraction. Now, with LinkedIn Today, these feeds are not only redundant, but invasive. I’m glad LinkedIn has decided to end this support for this kind of feature.

    The idea of a member being restricted is, again, partially correct. Members will find it impossible to learn of this ‘requires moderation’ tag because this is only visible to those with manager rights in any group. For me, I’ll know who has been moderated and blocked because I’m involved with the operation of the group and will know why someone has been ‘moderated’, NOT blocked from the group. This person may have been blocked in another group, but I’ll never know why. It seems lately, LinkedIn has backed off this practice and that’s a good thing.

    So, the image of LinkedIn groups is sometimes tainted by group owner who never particulate in their groups, operated the group on a whim, and create no value proposition for their group. The groups I help manage is for professionals in several areas. If someone requests to join those groups, have no professional qualifications related to the group, they are likely to be declined for membership.

    If you are in a group that takes forever to have a discussion or comment posted, cannot find a discussion because there is too much other stuff getting the way, tell your group owner or manager. If you don’t get a response within a couple of days, get out of the group! You’re going to get more frustrated, and the group owner or manager will still run the group on auto-pilot.

    • GREAT comments Steve – thanks for sharing it here!

      I agree with your comment on the RSS feeds. Although, I do belong to groups where they’ve become useful sources for discussion points of those with a common interest – especially on a local level where news isn’t being picked up by LinkedIn Today.

      As someone who owns and manages several groups, I find LinkedIn’s decision to restrict a member for moderation in “my” group over-reaching. Others may not manage their groups well, or set clear rules for group membership and participation, but I shouldn’t have to pay for their laziness or mismanagement.

      You’re correct in that members are never notified by LinkedIn if they’ve been restricted for moderation across all groups (and I believe LinkedIn should notify them). Now I’m tasked with having to answer questions from that angry member (why am I suddenly being moderated?) or check to see who LinkedIn has sent to the “penalty box” in my group without my request.

      I applaud LinkedIn’s desire to cut down on SPAM, but I feel this current policy is extremely flawed. I’d rather see them institute a “3 strikes” or even “5 strikes” policy (as they do when someone claims they haven’t met the person asking them to connect). True spammers would get caught and flagged quickly enough. Someone unlucky enough to be flagged in a judgement call (correctly or not) would at least have another chance(s) to be more careful before they’re restricted across all groups.

      I’d also like to see an appeals process in place – especially if they’re going to stick with one offense triggering moderation across all groups. But at the end of the day, I’d like LinkedIn to stay out of how I run my groups and let me manage them the way the established rules say that group will be run.

      • @Steve,
        I would be careful about “telling the group manager/owner” – I did just that last month in the Formula 1 Enthusiasts group and the Owner Blocked & Deleted me, resulting in me being in a Site Wide Auto Moderation (SWAM) mode for all of my groups. I politely mentioned that since LI was killing RSS feeds March 15, would she consider shutting them down early because the start of the F1 season was causing a tremendous amount of stories to push discussions far down, where it was difficult to find them. Apparently thin skin came into play and LI slammed me permanently due to this (IMHO, whacked) group owner.

        Furthermore, the RSS feeds used to go to a News tab, remember that? I found it very useful in my groups as I only pointed feeds that were exactly spot on for my group members. Then LinkedIn took the tab away pushing all news into Discussions. When I complained about it in the LinkedIn Product Group Forum, Ian McCarthy\LinkedIn Product Mgr Blocked and Deleted me from the group!

  10. Arthur, I have to agree that this is a bit much. Especially given the arbitrary nature of group managers power to decide without definition what spam is. I have run into this and was “shamed” for not know what the group managers definition of spam was. My sin was an announcement about a public forum everyone could attend and was relevant to the group.

  11. Every member who wishes to join a group can…and should…read the group rules prior to joining. It falls on the member to do so. Many group owners are quite explicit, so if the member breaks a rule, it should be no surprise. When a group does not adequately outline the rules for what constitutes spam, the member should inquire before joining. It’s actually very simple.

    It’s ridiculous to expect LinkedIn to oversee or correct every complaint a member makes. This is but one of thousands. After all, it is a free platform (unless one chooses to upgrade). I don’t see forums like this blasting Twitter of Facebook for every ‘poor decision’. Why do LinkedIn members believe they have the right to complain endlessly about features they can use for free? Boggles my mind. If you don’t like the platform, jump off and go somewhere where all of your nitpicky concerns will be met.

    LinkedIn’s new feature – if you’re blocked in one group you’re blocked in them all – is their response to millions of complaints about group spam. What else would you have them do? It wasn’t good enough that they did nothing. Now they take action, and this too isn’t good enough. The bottom line is that each group moderator makes his own rules and can unblock anyone they wish. I don’t quite understand what the big deal is here. I’m w/Janet Nelson…”We are (professional) big boys and girls. Let’s behave like it.”

    • Thanks for commenting Victoria.

      The problem I have with LinkedIn’s policy is that it’s not just spammers who are being penalized. I applaud their desire to further reduce spam, but this policy isn’t the way to accomplish that. People making legitimate posts, and doing so according to posted group rules, are still being penalized. It’s the “(professional) big boys and girls” you and Janet mentioned who are getting hurt by this policy, and that’s who I’m trying to defend.

      As someone who owns and manages many groups, it’s adding extra administrative work on my end that isn’t necessary. I now have to respond to angry group members who are being restricted in my group when they did nothing wrong in my group. Unblocking them doesn’t take long to do, but I shouldn’t have to do that to begin with. If I had a problem with what they had posted in my group, as a group owner, I could delete their post, move it to promotions/jobs, place them into a moderation queue going forward, delete them from the group and/or block them from the group.

      Yes, these sites are free, so you have to take the good with the bad if you want to participate. There are plenty of forums that write about the good and the bad of other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, my blog being one of them. I’ll praise them when praise is deserved and I’ll slam them when they deserve to be slammed. In my opinion, LinkedIn’s policy deserves to be slammed.

    • Now for a rhetorical question: What if there are no ground rules and a group owner blocks you on a whim? There should be a “three strikes and you’re out” rule. I am not complaining about LinkedIn in general. I am only at odds with one group owner who ignores my messages and refuses to “behave like a professional big girl.” If someone is truly sure of his/her professionalism, then this individual will have the courage to tell someone when rules are being broken instead of automatically blocking said “offender” and hiding like a coward.

      I made an honest mistake in July 2012 and posted a bit too eagerly in what turned out to be a giant electronic bulletin board. Had the group owner stated that it was meant to be a bulletin board and not a discussion forum (there is no dialogue whatsoever) or laid down the law from the outset: Off-topic posts will be deleted and offenders blocked, there would have been no problem in the first place. Then again, it was difficult to determine what constituted an “off-topic post.” There were no links that could be mistaken for spam. It was just a case of a thin-skinned woman who was intimidated by someone who appeared to be too outspoken for her (capricious, whimsical, mercurial) taste.

      • Hi Lori – thank you for commenting.

        Your experience is yet another example of how people have a different definition of, and tolerance for “spam.” Yet LinkedIn has created a “one size fits all” policy for spam and has severely handicapped users and group managers in the process.

        “Legitimate” users get penalized while poor group managers still exist (can’t necessarily say they get “rewarded” per-se since the moderation flagging may not have been caused by them).

        I’ve seen far too many legitimate users of LinkedIn get burned by this #SWAM (Site Wide Auto Moderation) policy. How can that be a good thing?

        –Arthur

  12. I personally have left two LI groups because of the blatant SPAM. One of the groups in particular had this woman from China that kept posting (maybe a bot of some sort). About every third post was hers, pushing laptop batteries and power supplies. The group owner/manager apparently didn’t care. Anyway, I welcome the effort by LI, just not the implementation.

  13. Do you have a link to the LinkedIn page discussing this new policy? I hadn’t heard of it until now, and I would love to see exactly how they have it worded. I don’t like the idea of a group moderator having power that extends beyond just their group.

    • Hi Keegan,

      Thank you for commenting on my post. I have not yet found an official policy statement on the LinkedIn website. But, I do have correspondence from them describing this policy. I’ll plan to publish that correspondence here in a follow-up post as you’re not the first person to ask about that.

      Kind regards,
      Arthur

  14. Pingback: Follow Up To: LinkedIn Policy Is Guilty Until Proven Innocent | Arthur Catalanello Consulting

  15. Atrhur, great post. The only official announcement of this change was posted in the LinkedIn Groups Product Forum in late December. Not to split hairs, but members aren’t flagged as “spammers”. This function was added to the existing block and block/delete functions and that is part of the problem. LinkedIn changed what these admin tools do and only announced the change to a small group of people.

    I’ve gone into more detail in a post titled: “LinkedIn Groups and SWAM – What is it?” I’ve added the link below, I hope you don’t mind, it’s a little too much to type as a comment.

    • Hi Mark – thank you for reading my post and commenting on it! I’ll check out your link too.

      Hopefully LinkedIn will reverse this across-the-board policy they have. It’s been an administrative headache for me as a group owner/manager that is truly unnecessary.

      • It’s now late August and LinkedIn does nothing to address what is now a MAJOR problem, stifling millions of LinkedIn members, paid or otherwise, from participating here.

        My groups are entertainment related. In my industry, we sub-contract each other as the norm at various parties and events. I encourage members of my groups to promote themselves and encourage members to reach out to other members to do business with one another. My group works and thousands of members are doing business with one another.

        LinkedIn would see my group as filled with spammers.
        Because of the nature of my industry, this is simply not the case.

        That’s where the problem happens here. You can not make rules like the SWAM, as it has basically crippled our networking abilities here.

        Why CNBC, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, etc. isn’t reporting about the SWAM is a mystery. If they did, LinkedIn’s stock would take a nose dive.

        Then again, Reid Hoffman, Jeff Weiner and all their employee minions have gotten wealthier beyond what any of us need in multiple lifetimes.

        If LinkedIn goes under, they remain rich.
        What they don’t understand is, without all LinkedIn members, they wouldn’t have been able to offer their billion dollar IPO in the first place.

        Now, they have, in effect, told us all to go to hell and that we don’t matter.

        Yet another corporation’s greed and arrogance rearing it’s ugly head.

  16. Linkedin currently provides a business ecosystem focused on the productoon and sharing of relvant ideas through over 1.8 million groups.The choice to participate in open groups is available to all members.
    For moderated groups, the capcity to direct or focus the nature of the conversation will be of little import if the particpating members see no true value in the conversation. As such moderated groups have value precisely because they have someone at the helm. If a moderated group appears restrictive or the moderator is unduly controlling, each member is free to disconnect from the Group and start his or her own Group on the related topic. There are many types of conversations. I can only suggest each member participate in a Group they personally feel is productive.

    • Well-said Paul. Thanks for commenting on my post and I agree with what you said.

      While I applaud LinkedIn’s desire to reduce spam across it’s site, I disagree with their “guilty until proven innocent” treatment of it’s users. I feel it’s especially negligent when it’s a one-offense system without any review or appeals process to see if the flagged post was truly spam. Too many legitimate users are being incorrectly and unfairly labeled as spammers. Furthermore, too many group owners/managers are having to deal with the repercussions of this policy.

  17. Hello Arthur. Thanks for the article.

    I wrote an article myself about this on February 8th and I will provide a link to it because it may provide some additional useful information.

    http://www.zaneeducation.com/News/2013/linkedin/new-linkedin-policy-penalizes-innocent-customers/

    I was bannished from a group …. and my crime for which I was responsible was that one of the groups to which I belonged had been made an open group and was being overrun with spam. I messaged the owner offering my assistance – because yes I operate a group of my own. The owner of the group did not even have the courtesy to reply. So 2 months later I messaged him again. And that was the crime for which I was banished. All I can do is assume that because he was a Romanian, that he did not understand English properly. In neither message was I rude or abusive.

    As a result of being banned I am now prevented in posting on all of the 40 education groups to which I belong ….and have actively contributed towards.

    I am aggreived that a company like LinkedIn that claims to be their for the “professionals”of the world through which to network has acted in such an unprofessional manner.

    I have twice contacted them by email and received no reply. They have shown absolutely nothing short of arrogance and distain for the very people that helped build LinkedIn – and the fact that they have not even had the courtesy and consideration to contact Group Owners and inform them why this is happening the reason why this additional work is being limped upon them is absolutely unbelievable.

    I detest spam myself …. why? ….well I am a Group owner myself.

    I hope that the additional information I have been able to offer here has been of some help, and I would urge more people to write about this absurd and ill-thoughtout strategy that LinkedIn had come up with as a knee-jerk reaction to controlling spam.

  18. I too have been affected by this unwarranted blocking. In the past I have contributed actively to many discussions in many of my 50+ groups and these have always been well received by other discussion members.

    All of a sudden I am not able to make any comments in any of my groups, without them first going to Review. In a few cased I have contacted the group moderator to ask if they have received a notification that a comment needs to be reviewed and they had no idea what I was talking about. In one case, the moderator is outside my personal connection group, so I was not able to send them a direct message.

    In the past I have found LinkedIn very useful and have recommended it to many people. If this change is not reversed, LinkedIn will be useless to me and I will leave. This global blocking may also be the reason many people are starting additional profiles, which will help to boost LinkedIn’s stats.

    Hopefully this will get corrected. Thanks for the opportunity to comment.

    • Hi Ruth – Thanks for commenting on my post – sorry you’ve had to endure LinkedIn’s policy. I find LinkedIn’s policy particularly distasteful when they ask these same people to upgrade their membership. Many probably would if that meant removing them from “moderation purgatory” but sadly, the professional upgrade has no impact on that.

  19. Pingback: “Ihr Beitrag wurde zur Überprüfung eingereicht” – LinkedIn und SWAM | LinkedInsider Deutschland

  20. It wasn’t so long ago that Jeff Weiner proudly said LinkedIn was all about “members first”. SWAM has shown how quickly a company can go off track. In early November Jeff Weiner explained to the New York Times:

    “So our culture has five dimensions: transformation, integrity, collaboration, humor, and results. And there are six values: members first; relationships matter; be open, honest and constructive; demand excellence; take intelligent risks; and act like an owner. And by far the most important one is members first. We as a company are only as valuable as the value we create for our members.”

    Less than two months later his minions implemented SWAM. As I write in my new blog post, SWAM is anything but members first.

    Read more in my blog at: http://www.projectweavers.com/linkedin-member-first-no-more/

    Thanks,
    Matthew

  21. Pingback: Career Development Carnival: December 2013

  22. Pingback: No te equivoques con LinkedIn | GIRO DE ENFOQUE

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