I made a promise to LinkedIn about recruiter spam

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June 13, 2012

I get spammed regularly and frequently by Ticketmaster / Live Nation via LinkedIn by someone named Natalie Kuperman (LinkedIn says she’s contacted me a total of 16 times). I’ve asked her to stop, but I’m guessing that TM/LN have paid for some super premium account at LinkedIn which allows automated means to contact users in bulk.

Trouble is, LinkedIn has no way to allow me to block her messages. Worst of all, the Emails that wind up in my Inbox have no way to report the user for spamming, I have to waste a few minutes of my time to log into LinkedIn to flag her message (and her account) as spam.

I sent the following text to LinkedIn: (oh, and I had to guess that the Email address was support@linkedin.com since they didn’t have an easy-to-find way to contact them on their site. What is this, 1995?)

Hey support team,

I’ve asked this user (Natalie Kuperman) repeatedly to stop Emailing me. How do I blacklist them on LinkedIn or find a way to block them from seeing my profile, or get them kicked off of LinkedIn for spamming or whatever it’s going to take to get them to knock it off?

Their response showed up about 38 hours later:

Hi Ian,

Currently, we don’t have an option that allows you to block your profile from being seen by other LinkedIn members or messages from being sent from them. However, you might want to adjust the settings on your account to stop getting notifications. You can do this by going to this link:


If you have further questions, please feel free to let me know.

Regards, Melvin LinkedIn Customer Service

So if I understand Melvin correctly, changing this setting to “off” will only stop me from getting a copy of the LinkedIn Inbox message via Email. This doesn’t even fix the underlying problem since the next time I log into LinkedIn I’m still going to see their crappy spam.

Or did he mean just to shut off ALL communication on the site?? Geez, might as well just tell me to close my account.

Luckily, 48 hours and 2 minutes later, I got an Email asking if I’d like to fill out a survey about my support ticket. Oh, indeed I would. On the very last page, it gave the opportunity to write a few remarks. This was my little letter to LinkedIn, along with a promise that I would not only blog about my experience, but write Twitter messages every time I got recruiter spam.

First, LinkedIn needs to add a link to the bottom of Emails being sent by other users to “report this as spam” so I don’t have to log into the web site to flag it or report it there. I should be able to do this via a link in the Email footer.

Secondly, LinkedIn NEEDS to have a way to allow users to block individuals from contacting them if there is no existing LinkedIn connection between them. I’m getting recruiter spam from the same person about once a month, and it appears to be some automated means because I’m sure a human being would be able to read a response of “stop contacting me” several times over and over and be a decent person and knock it off. I have never connected with this person via LinkedIn, so it’s not a direct “hey, just following up with you” kind of conversation. They are explicitly spamming me about once a month for the past ~6 months or more.

Thirdly, you’re technically breaking the law by NOT having a feature to allow this. In effect, you’re guilty of being accomplices to spammers who have found a way around the CanSpam act since I have no way to be removed from THEIR mailings.

Fourth, your representative told me that my ONLY recourse was to COMPLETELY shut off getting messages from ANYONE on LinkedIn. I find this completely unacceptable, and I might as well just shut down my account. I want to get messages from coworkers, past and present, as well as hearing about opportunities to share my expertise, but there HAS to be a way to block individuals when we are not “connected” on LinkedIn.

Your corporate response would be akin to calling the police to report harassing phone calls and them telling me to just disconnect my phone service.

I’ll also be blogging about this, and tweeting about my blog post every time this user continues to spam me until either their account is shut down, or you guys give individuals a way to block un-linked spammers.

If I’m lucky, LinkedIn will fix the problem. Worst case, they see this blog post and close my account. Either way, I guess I win.

image credit: http://nhab.it/linkedin-discussion-groups-spam-and-obnoxious-self-promotion/