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Linked In on LinkedIn without my consent

Every week I must get at least three “Connect on LinkedIn?” emails — I’m sure you get them too.

I used to get the occasional “If you joined LinkedIn you could hook up with your contact’s network” – presumably my colleagues/friends/contacts had given LinkedIn my email address either explicitly or it had taken a dump of their contacts to spam.

Anyway a few months ago the content of the emails changed and their volume increased. They now say:

I found you while I was searching my network at LinkedIn. Let’s connect directly, so we can help each other with referrals. If we connect, both of our networks will grow. To add me as your connection, just follow the link below.

– {person ‘s name}

PS: Here is the link:…{rest of link}

It is free to join and takes less than 60 seconds to sign up.

The two interesting points being the first and last lines that I’ve highlighted.

The emails now say that I am actually in LinkedIn (it appears I now have an entry that is discoverable) but they also say I have to sign up to use the service.

WTF!!?! How can I have an entry in a social network I haven’t signed up for?

I have no interest in being on LinkedIn (I’ll explain why in another post, perhaps) but of course my friends/colleagues/contacts think I am and understandably ‘add me to their network’ — regularly.

I then get yet another email (“Why don’t we connect on LinkedIn…”) and later on my friend/colleague/contact thinks I’ve rejected them when I essentially say “no, I won’t add you to my network”.

It’s all very annoying.

Published in Thoughts and Rants


  1. wow! you aren’t the first person this has happened to! πŸ™‚ i’ve had a few friends that i’ve linked to on linked-in, and they had no idea they had a profile. And of course, when they didn’t reciprocate with the “let’s join networks” email, angst and insecurity set in πŸ˜‰


  2. JB JB

    Yes, LinkedIn used to be my favorite social networking site. They refuse to add a contact management function into there service, and therefore I’m unable to segment my different contacts (i.e., friends, co-workers, met in passing, etc.) into different groups. I’m on a LinkedIn strike until they fix that. I won’t cancel the service, but I’m no longer accepting any invitations, sending any out, or even visiting the site for that matter.
    Do you use OpenBC?

  3. I imagine it would be rather more annoying to have your search history put on public display and then linked to by everyone. Still, I feel your pain.

  4. Hungarian Hungarian


    if you think that this kind of spam by LinkedIn is annoying, just read my little story, my hot topic at the moment, as LinkedIn is allowing someone to ruin my career.
    I am upset, just need to post this on a few forums to let off some steam..

    I wish there was more awareness among people of the dangers of all these “useful” tools on the web, most of which is just for making someone extremely rich, not caring for the consequences of the effect on people’s lives. And I am not just talking about people who surf the web, much rather of people who do NOT..
    I happened to stumble across your writing by googling “LinkedIn abuse” after I ran into something ridiculous regarding the system LinkedIn works along. Which, by the way, goes for all similar networking sites, due to the anonimity and ease of access to the worldwide web.

    My story shows that it can go further than just a “nuisance” or lack of real use.

    I lost my job some weeks ago and someone (most likely an employee from my last company whose salary had been reduced as an effect of the company crisis or any former employee I had to make redundant, due to the same crisis which eventually made me redundant as well..) has taken to abusing LinkedIn and registering under my name, with the only difference of one letter in the spelling of my name, which I had registered with originally.
    In fact, the international spelling of my name is what the person used, thus if someone from a multinational is googling me or looking me up in LinkedIn, the fake name will come up first, not my real account.

    In Hungarian, we have 9 more characters in our alphabet, on top of the english alphabet, which are just different formats of the letters “a”, “e”, “i”, “o” or “u”. We put these little accents and double-dots on top of the letters, thus the pronounciation is totally different (e.g. “Γ‘” differs from “a”, “ΓΆ” from “o”, etc.). It is common in the world in many languages, LinkedIn however does not seem to bother taking this into consideration for avoiding abuse..
    Which is remarkable, as about 75% of people in my personal social networking circle have at least one of these odd characters in their names, 50% of them have two of these letters, which means FOUR different possibilities to register at LinkedIn for HALF of the Hungarian population! Imagine how much work this would mean for their Service Support if people start reporting abuse..
    Not to mention: how do they know who the real Mr X. is?? Do I need to send a copy of my passport???

    Now, this individual is trying to make my life miserable, as (s)he has indicated that I have filled a position with a competitive firm versus my previous firm. Of course this will not have any legal implications for me, as I obviously do not work there. It does pose a potential threat to me though when applying for new positions or if this person is putting in new information.

    By the way, did you know that in Hungary the number of registered members of our major networking site (iwiw) has reached 4 million this January, about 40% of the population? Considering Internet penetration has not even reached this number in the country (34% in 2007, should not be more than 40% currently), it does pose some remarkable questions on the registration purety of the site.
    Another interesting information: it is one of the only “national” social networking sites in the world, which is not only “invite-only” (so you need someone to invite you to be able to join), but here you have to ask for PERMISSION FROM THE SERVICE DESK before you can send an invitation to anyone to become a member! This can take up to WEEKS.. (I just requested an invite for my aunt, who is 67: no reply yet since 17 days now..)

    Now tell me: what can I possibly do to avoid anyone misuse of my personal information, if a provider like this does not care to protect people’s privacy, even of those who are not even registered??..
    I agree it would be a costy feature to have everyone give a (home) mailing adress and send a (snail mail) letter physically with access codes and so on, to make sure it’s not some kid in a Philippines registering as former CEO of a Swedish firm, just for the fun of it, but let’s just think for a minute: would the profits not justify it?.. What is the profit loss in a letter? Exactly: the potentially missed opportunity. I’ve not seen many providers raising their barriers high, that’s for sure..

    The problem is not what the system does not do, what it lacks.
    The problem is the damage it does. When talking about people’s jobs, there is nothing worse than irresponsible “gadgets” on the Web, “for the common good”.

  5. Emuddimoutt Emuddimoutt

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