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LinkedIn Spam Reduction, Group Flooding

I’ve been getting an extraordinary amount of spam from LinkedIn in the last month (started almost immediately after Twitter cut them off, coincidence ? I think not). I took a few minutes to think about what LinkedIn provides me as a service:

  • place for recruiters to find me.
  • place for casual work acquaintances to follow me and for me to follow them.

To date I’ve never used LinkedIn to locate people or offer someone a job, but it might happen. Might isn’t good enough. Really, LinkedIn has very little value and the spam has turned it into an annoyance.

Is there any value in the networking features ? Can’t see any. Mostly

I spent ten minutes going through my LinkedIn settings and was shocked by how data is being leaked about my life from LinkedIn. So here is what I did.

  • prevent invitations to join this or that group (less email)
  • remove all old applications that can access LinkedIn for personal data
  • remove Third Party data linking ( Facebook style).
  • Configured LinkedIn to use HTTPS.
  • Disabled permission to display third party ads (aka sell my data to external company and show me ads with that information).

My View

It’s shame that LinkedIn has been reduced to a crappy copy of Facebook. It was a useful and likeable service for professionals a few years back and I enjoyed finding out where work colleagues had moved to, what they were doing etc. Today, it is  a cheap knockoff of Facebook without any of the good bits (note: I don’t have a Facebook account – there are no good bits).

LinkedIn was once targeted at professional people and I enjoyed a quality experience.  It was useful & even valuable. Today, it’s heading down the path of chasing page views which has led to a crappy experience. The lessons of Instagram and Pinterest with simple pages and content have been completely lost on their management.

I’ll give some serious thought to deleting my LinkedIn account in the next few months but I’ll hold off for a while to see if these changes have improved my personal experience. Today, I’ve deleted just about all of my Group Memberships, disabled all external applications, enhanced my privacy and security, removed all but the minimum email messages,

Edit: For those who asked, my LinkedIn page is here uk.linkedin.com/in/etherealmind

LinkedIn Audit

Here is what I did to cut LinkedIn down the minimal a static site. First go to the Settings page (it’s not obvious that this where some settings area)

Linkedin spam reduction 1

Hit “Groups, Companies, Applications” and disable Group Invitiations

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Next disable that data theft / privacy breach features that are supposed to prevent LinkedIn from selling your personal details. In the privacy controls section I got a shock when I saw all the applications that have been given permission to access my personal data. Time to delete all of these in the

Privacy Controls: Turn on/off data sharing with 3rd party applications

I mean I left Klout enabled in there. The only reason Klout exists is to profile your personal life and sell it to advertisers.

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Third Party Data Theft

 

Just like Facebook, those LinkedIn buttons that you see on every page capture data about you. Where you have been, what you like. LinkedIn lets you opt out of the data collection when this happens (use should be using Ghostery to block tracking cookies anyway).

 

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You want to use my personal information and show ads to me based on that information ? No thanks.

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Cut down Email from LinkedIn

Sending you email is a way for LinkedIn to advertise itself as well as provide you a service. But more than two emails a week is too many. Configure LinkedIn to send the least amount of “LinkedIn Inmail” as you can stand.

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and then disable this email screen

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And then disable all of the group emails. I did find the group email useful a few years ago, but now they are completely overrun with recruiter spam. There is no signal in the noise.

 

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Partner Inmail is not the same thing as other email and needs to be explicitly removed. Where “Partners” equals “Advertising”

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Activity Feed

I find the home page in LinkedIn to be very cluttered and can’t see any useful information. There is so much “happening” on the page that I can’t get anything useful from the data. These settings appear to tone down some of the the clutter.

Does anyone care that you have been looking at their profile ? Linkedin spam reduction 11

Do you want other people (aka recruiters / agencies) to see your connections. Today, I’ve blocked this because of the spam but a year ago it was a valuable way for recruiters to be able to locate work colleagues and consider them for new roles.

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Reducing clutter …. Linkedin spam reduction 13

Disclosure

I have nothing to disclose in this article. My full disclosure statement is here