LinkedIn: What Kind of In Are You Looking For?

If you're in this industry, you understand the value of networking, which is why I accept almost all LinkedIn invitations. After all, every connection could be a potential lead.

But a hot topic these days has been harassment on LinkedIn, and how the network is doing very little to prevent it. Sure, there's a lot to say about most LinkedIn interaction being a little on the creepy side, but for some people, we're talking full-on sexual harassment here.

You know what I'm talking about. This kind of behavior is typical on other social networks like Facebook and Instagram, just to name a few. And while I've had my fair share of what I call "creeper situations" on those networks, it wasn't until recently that I came across similar situations on LinkedIn. I am a public person on most of my social networks, so I almost expect this behavior. However, LinkedIn is promoted as a place to create and grow business and professional connections, and that's the last place I want anyone asking me out to a steak restaurant. When I tweeted a screenshot of one of my inappropriate LinkedIn messages (told ya I was a public person), a follower joked that being harassed on LinkedIn means at least someone with a job is harassing me. Eh.

LinkedIn Sexual Harassment

The issue here is that this LinkedIn behavior - in which people treat other networkers like they're on - has become very common.

So, what's LinkedIn doing about the situation? According to our research, not much at all. Take this petition for instance, started by Anna, a sexual harassment victim who has been stalked by her former boss. While Anna was able to block him on all other networks, LinkedIn told her that blocking just wasn't an option. But more than 8,000 (and counting) supporters agree that LinkedIn needs to change its privacy settings. There's even an entire Tumblr dedicated to sharing users and messages flaunting this sort of behavior.

LinkedIn already gets a bad rap for misrepresented profile owners, and the recent rollout of the endorsement feature has devalued the social network even more. Add sexual harassment to the mix, and you've got yourself a platform that's slowly losing its credibility.

What do you think of LinkedIn? Have you found that it has slowly been losing its value as a professional social network? Do you think its privacy settings need to be updated, or do you think that users should be more selective with their connections?

We post cool stuff and use LinkedIn responsibly. Feel free to connect.

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