I was browsing through the People You May Know section of LinkedIn and noticed my son was suggested as a connection. My son is 22 months and i don’t think he had been able to sign up all by himself but i tried the “forgot password” feature and it told me they couldn’t find a linkedIn account associated with that email address.
So I went back to the People You May Know section and saw that some contacts had “Connect” and some had “Add to Network”. I had originally thought that that just meant that when the option was “connect”, that we had common connections already (direct or indirect) while “add to network” was when people where beyond a 3rd degree connection. I looked more into who were the “Add to Network” and it seemed like they were entries from my contacts list. I know because one of the contacts suggested was an entry in my contacts for an email to post to a blog.
I’m still racking my brain for when i actually gave permission to LinkedIn to even access my contact list. I’m guessing it was when I installed one of their apps.
I clicked on “Add to Network” to see what happens since i have access to my son’s email address (i created it for him) and this is the email he received:
I don’t know whether to call it creative or misleading. Clicking on the confirm button takes me to the sign up page.
I don’t know about you but it feels a lot like social engineering to me. I’m still not sure whether I actually did give permission to “find people i know” using my contact list, but even if I did, i was under the impression that they would help me find people I know that were ALREADY in the network and not use it for their own gain by using my name to invite them to sign up.
I actually wouldn’t mind if only they were up front about their intention. Maybe they were and I wasn’t reading the fine print, but still, maybe ditch the fine print and make it clear what you are doing, LinkedIn.
I just now somehow feel a bit used. I will be filing this under #dodgysocialnetworkschemes.
Below are only some of the community threads that were started complaining about this “feature”, I think one of the worst PYMK suggestions yet was one of someone’s contact who had died a few years prior, but was still suggested to be added to the network. It’s just many levels awkward, they should have learned from facebook.
Update: To remove these suggestions, you can visit http://www.linkedin.com/people/contacts and delete them but it won’t be easy. When i tried, LinkedIn won’t let me delete all at once.
What i did was select all, delete and then in the dialog box that comes up, cilck “X” on the topmost name a whole bunch of times till there was about less than 100 in the list and confirm. Then repeat the same process till they were all gone.
At least now I feel better that i won’t be “tricked” into sending an invite to my contacts who are not already on the network.
I went back to manage my contacts and had to go through this link to find it again:
and for some reason i found 2 contacts back! O_O i have to figure out what’s giving LinkedIn my contacts.