How to get banned on LinkedIn
This week I want to focus on a subject that I briefly covered in the last LinkedInformed. LinkedIn’s Trust & Safety team have clearly been ‘upping their game’ and whilst this is generally a good thing for us all, they are bound to occasionally cross the line and ban some innocent ‘good actors’ who unwittingly find they have performed actions that look suspicious to LinkedIn.
One such victim was Kelsi Cory, A recruitment business owner from Sacramento in the US so I chatted with her this week to fully explore exactly what happened.
More of that later…
Interesting stuff I saw this week
LinkedIn have redesigned the Live video broadcast dashboard…and it’s a big improvement!
LinkedIn Surprises Workers With A Week Off To Help With Burnout
If you take it at face value, this seems like a very generous thing for LinkedIn to do. However, I suspect it might be a clever bit of PR!
LinkedIn are currently advertising for nearly 600 positions across the world and traditionally run a very tight ship (possibly not out of choice) staffing wise so I find it difficult to see how allowing the majority of their full-time staff (15,900) a week off will actually work in practice. I suspect most of them will continue working to some degree as they don’t want to return to a horrendous backlog in a week!
You can read more about this here
Getting banned on LinkedIn
In last weeks LinkedInformed, I featured a post from Joel Lalgee highlighting the case of Kelsi Cory. It seemed that Kelsi, a premium Recruiter licence user was banned for viewing too many profiles! That seemed outrageous and if true, would be a massive concern to thousands of Recruiter users worldwide!
So I contacted Kelsi and she agreed to come on the podcast to explain her story in more detail.
I urge you to listen to the audio recording to fully understand the details, you will also appreciate just what a lovely, friendly person Kelsi is and why Joel felt so strongly about supporting her.
- Kelsi runs a successful recruitment business and employs several recrruiters
- She no longer has a Recruiter licence because she is no longer a hands-on Recruiter but she does pay for the licences of her staff.
- Kelsi had been undertaking an exercise that involved her viewing a high number of company profiles. She had done this, as well as viewing lots of personal profiles, many times before but that was when her personal account held a Recruiter licence.
- She initially received a push notification warning on her mobile app which she wasn’t too concerned about.
- She contacted her Account Manager at LinkedIn to check why this had happened and was informed “not to worry about it.
- She received more warnings but each time she was assured it would be sorted and not to worry.
- One day she found she was locked out of LinkedIn!
- She escalated this, via her account manager but the review was not in her favour and her account was permanently suspended!
- In these situations, LinkedIn only holds onto your historical data for so long. Whilst Kelsi was sure she would eventually prove her innocence, she was concerned that she was so far back in the queue that her data would be deleted before she got it resolved.
- Kelsi believes that if it wasn’t for Joels post and all the support she received from the LinkedIn community worldwide, her case would not have been prioritised.
So it seems that she wasn’t a Recruiter licence holder (you can breathe again Recruiter users!) but she was paying a significant amount to LinkedIn for the licences for her staff.
Her Account Manager at LinkedIn clearly didn’t understand the gravity of her situation and was wrong to dismiss the warnings. They also wrongly assumed they could hold sway with the Trust & Safety team – this is (rightly) wrong, the Trust & safety team need to operate above commercial considerations otherwise people would calculate that buying a licence would allow them to abuse the LinkedIn network!
Kelsi was an innocent victim but she did view a high number of profiles and to such a degree that the mechanisms in place flagged her actions of those of an automated bot (that amusingly call it ‘supernatural’ numbers). She will no doubt be more careful in the future and so should we all be!
LinkedIn will never tell us what these viewing limits are but you do really need to be hitting seriously high numbers to get into trouble.
The best part of Kelsi story is how the LinkedIn community rallied around her in support. She claims she was lucky to have that support, I disagree – it’s not luck, it’s because she has worked hard to develop strong relationships on LinkedIn. We (the community) know a ‘good un’ when we see one, even if LinkedIn don’t!
How else can you get banned?
- Add information to your profile that is not allowed in the User Agreement (section 8)
- Your account can be restricted if too many people reject your invitation to connect and state it is because they do not know you. You can still use LinkedIn but you need a recipients email address to send an invitation to connect
- Your invitation acceptance rate is exceptionally low
- You use any 3rd party automation tools – especially if they view profiles, send invitations or send direct messages
- Your direct messages or InMails are flagged as spam (repeatedly)
- You use any browser extensions. LinkedIn officially state they are all banned but some (such as Shield) are highly unlikely to cause you a problem.
- You post or reshare content that is offensive or believed to be false (fake news). Be careful as LinkedIn’s definition of offensive may well be very different from yours – they are a notoriously liberal, politically correct organisation.
- You comment or reply to a comment in a way that others find offensive (if it’s reported 5 times, they will check it out)