back to article LinkedIn U-turns to appease peeved users

LinkedIn has admitted that it screwed up with its latest tweak to the social-network-for-suits, after the company started using names and photos in third-party advertising. "Our core guiding value is Members First. And, with regards to the social ads we've been testing, we're listening to our members. We could have …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. SuperTim

    Their "excuse"

    Was that they put it in a blog, and ran banner ads. Apparently that is their way of "gaining my permission".

    1. clanger9

      Permission: we've heard of it.

      Amazing. When I heard their claim to have properly notified users of the change, I was surprised that I somehow missed this.

      Then I find out that this "notification" consisted of a single blog post - and a banner ad, FFS!!

      Just unbelievable. On what planet could that possibly be considered "seeking informed consent"?

      1. Graham Marsden

        @On what planet....

        ... the same one that puts plans on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the Leopard"!

        1. Rob Dobs

          amusing ..but WTF?

          Ok, maybe I was under a rock that day..... maybe this is a London thing that I just don't get.

          What the heck are you talking about?

          Did someone actually try to claim displaying something this way? Or are you just being figurative?

          If so I get, though I would have to say in the U.S this would not work.

          Anything locked in a disused lavatory would be sure to be busted or picked withing a few hours or minutes depending on the neighborhood.

          Also I would have to say that any door with "Beware of the Leopard" on it (outside of say a zoo or animal reserve) would be BOUND to make we want to look inside.

          Maybe we are stupid curious cats, but that's our nature ... does pay off a bit on the inventing side i guess though....

          1. Aaron Em

            Fancy you not getting it

            I know exactly what they're talking about, and I grew up in Mississippi!

          2. Kilgaard

            @amusing ..but WTF?

            (paraphrased) quote from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

            See "Beware the Leopard"

      2. Paul RND*1000


        So if you don't read the LinkedIn blog and do use an ad blocker, you wouldn't have known anything about this. Which explains why I didn't know anything about this...

        They have my email address, surely this was important enough to warrant sending notification emails to the user base?

    2. Number6


      Well, if they put it in a banner ad then those of us running ad-filtering software probably never even saw it. One might expect that those with opinions about adverts were the ones more likely to be using such filters.

  2. Munchausen By Taxi


    Yep, minor apology until the next stunt carried out in the name improving user experience. Nope, sorry, canceled my account. Hows that for "added value, going forward"!

  3. nsld


    That a major change to terms and conditions needs to be communicated direct and if I am not mistaken default opt in is not allowed for any service provided in the EU.

    Linkedin used to be a professional site, now its just spam loaded junk.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    I agree with the previous comments - a blog post is NOT the way to inform your users of an upcoming way to the way an organisation uses their data, unless the organisation has a way of ensuring their entire user base reads the blog.

    I would have expected a social networking site aimed at professional social networking to act, well, more professional.

  5. The BigYin

    Think about it

    Who are Linkedin's customers? Companies (head-hunters etc).

    What is the product? You.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Anybody know how

    to turn off linkdn/deregister totally, I can find it , but I am fik.

  7. Identity

    Don't see why...

    they couldn't have notified everyone by e-mail. After all, they send out network updates and such to all and sundry every day! Laziness, duplicity or stupidity?

    1. easytoby

      All of the above

      It is lazy, duplicitous and stupid all at the same time. The only extra I can add is that it is mostly driven by blind greed in a desperate revenue grab in support of an over-valued IPO.

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Do you really want to give Jabba the Hut your data?

    If you want to understand a company, look at the top. If you've ever met Reid Hoffman you'll understand. An obese, pompous arse of a man: pavillion-sized shirt attempting to hide his enormous belly, wobbling from his incessant and irritating foot-tapping, bouncing his sweaty balls in his oversize jogging bottoms. Technology's answer to Jabba the Hut. Odious.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    linkedin has always been weird

    I do not understand the attraction of linkedin. It seems like it must be unreliable for even basic networking. I had them remove a listing with my name on it. Based solely on my Gmail account address, their profile of me showed that I worked for Google!

    1. Rob Dobs

      simple attraction - simple service

      The basic attraction for me is this:

      LinkedIn appears to solely focus on maintaining business connections for people for free. (with additional tools if you chose to pay)

      - It (until recently) appeared to do a good job of letting the paid people like HR staff and recruiters, and frequent job hoppers pay for the paid part of the service, some banner ads make up the rest of the revenue and the rest of us get a free place to keep a photo, email and current employment status in a nice online tool at no cost, and no risk of general public coming across it and abusing it.

      I really only signed up when the company I worked for went belly up suddenly many years ago .... Everyone got on linked in to stay in touch (company email servers would be down fast) and help each other find jobs. It is also good by being employer centric it allows you to easily search for people you used to work with by company name (kind of like facebook was originally intended to find classmates).

      If they can stick to these principals it is a good professional tool, and basically a online resume repository.

      Another great feature is the recommendations. Its one thing to list someone's name and number on a resume, its another to be able to print out the specific things they said about you, and have them able to be verified online. I have a few recommendations from some CEO's and name worthy types that really opens up job opportunities for me, and the employer can view the link on LinkedIn and know it really came from those people

      This latest action was a real kick in the balls. I really did what I suggested. I have downloaded all the contacts and email addresses of mine from the site (no easy task) and now they get 1 and only one more chance. They screw up again and I will delete my entire account and never return. The level of trust and not acting like facebook was the ONLY reason I allowed a 2nd party company to hold this information for me off-site.

      They have one other failing (relating to ability to game the company system) that I hope they will patch soon, but don't want to open that Pandora's box here :-)

  10. Irving Lypshytz
    Thumb Down

    Account Closed ...

    While I need FB to keep in touch with our daughter, I don't post any pictures and use a "pen name".

  11. Wile E. Veteran

    "Privacy Policy" We've heard of privacy but ignore it.

    After actually reading the "Privacy Policy" and all the crap they collect, including complete browser history and IP address. I canceled my account. Didn't use it much anyway, but with that policy I won't use it at all! Basically it says, "You have no privacy and we'll collect every piece of information we can extract from your browser." Fsck 'em!

  12. anarchic-teapot

    I cancelled my account

    and next day i got an email (fail 1) which suggested I would probably like to follow 4 different professional groups (fail 2), none of which was even remotely related to any of my areas of expertise (fail 3, and out)

    +1 to everyone pointing out that a blog post plus a banner ad does not constitute "informing all our members" +2 to anyone bringing me an ice cold alcoholic drink. Merry Friday.

  13. cd

    I left months ago...

    They kept sending pointless emails about who I might know, but I never linked to people, just looked them up. Then, without any notification, and even though I had a profile, they wanted me to pay for access to view someone else's profile. I killed my profile right then, it was obvious where they were headed and how desperate they were. And how greedy.

    I think they have been desperate for ways to monetise. Soon they will primarily be composed of weak links. Same airheaded know-nothing investors that enabled the first bubbles will enable this one.

  14. Planeten Paultje

    Oops, and...

    ...Mea culpa, Mea minima culpa.

  15. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "some of those same members may not be comfortable"

    Using people's image for selling products without first obtaining their written consent is not well accepted ? Well duh.

    One question : if I start selling a product and say that LinkedIn endorses it, how long will I have to wait for the lawsuit ?

    Even if I put a message on my blog beforehand ?

    Frankly it totally floors me every time I read things like this where so-called intelligent people can't seem to remember the basic tenants of the social and moral code, not to mention commercial and legal rights.

    Then I remember that it's the Internet, where 90% of the users have left their higher brain functions in limbo.

    So obviously this was a Zuckerberg-like attempt to "see how far they could go".

    It's reassuring to know that LinkedIn has less sheeple than Facebook - or at least a higher percentage of users that DO use their brains.

    That said, I got suckered into LinkedIn by one of my former bosses (it was company policy). I now have my finger hovering over the <delete account> button. One more screw up like this and I'm out.

  16. Zap
    Thumb Down

    Linked In breach of Can Spam act DAILY

    IMO Link-in breaches the Can Spam and Data Protection act every day. Let me explain.

    John Smith joins up and they load up his outlook file and write to all his email contacts, that would be fine if it happened once and if there was an opt-out link, there isn't. Linked In then continue to spam the colleague again and again, each of those messages does NOT contain and opt-out link.

    The problem gets worse when someone else you know joins linked in, because the whole damn series of unsolicited emails start again. At the end of the message it says something like "The only way to get access to Mary Allen's professional network on LinkedIn is through the following link:;lkasddv;k a;sk ;sv vsk ;' /" "

    When actually what I want is a way to opt out of ALL linkedin messages.

    I went to their site and there is no "Opt out" of all messages" which Facebook and any Aweber based service offers you.

    Believe it or not not everyone wants to join their dumb network which IMO just helps people steal your identity.

    There is no page on their telling users that they can opt out and to get them to stop requires trawling though thousands of words in their terms and conditions for a support link and then after three or four message back and forth they finally offer to add your email address to a do not mail list.

    Yoru article said " We’re excited to announce today that we plan to roll out changes to the advertising platform across LinkedIn which will surface actions from your network, like recommendations and company follows. The focus is to deliver ads that are more useful and relevant to you,"

    Well of course THEY are excited, they found a way to monetise their web asset, BUT only with a blatant disregard AGAIN for the privacy of their users. You cannot subscribe people to a service under one set of terms and them make a unilateral change without first gaining explicit permission.

    It just shows that values (or lack of them) of who you are dealing with at Linked In, well now what I do is forward the message header and message of every message they send to .

    I suggest to vote with your feet, delete your data (you know you probably can't trust them to do so if you just close your account) and then close your account a day later.

    If you continue to get the spam then report each incidence to the ICO, EU and FTC.

  17. Adam Inistrator

    cashing out?

    linkedin probably decided to cash out now before they become the next myspace

  18. localgeek

    I also added value... canceling my account. Making opt-in the default is a bad idea. You'd think they'd have learned from Facebook.

  19. Dixx

    Social theft or social reesponsibilty

    What is in breach here? Is the assumption that you can sign away your rights to fair payment for endorsing a product a fair one? The funds of course transfer to the SUITs - Sneaky, Untrustworty, Irresponsible Thieves.

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019