Anonymous Viewing or LinkedIn Members who wish to remain Anonymous….

Right or Wrong?

Hide your profile or not?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #ServiceAddress #Service-Address #Anonymous #LinkedIn #Viewing

Following participation in several forums, help centre questions, numerous tweets and status discussions on my LinkedIn profile with regards to Anonymous viewing, as you may or may not know, I was asked by LinkedIn to take part in a conference call on this topic.

Whilst I know, this may or may not be an issue to people, here in the United Kingdom and also in the United States, there is a growing number of people who are not happy with the features on LinkedIn which enable profiles displaying:-

  • “LinkedIn Member – This member chose to be shown as anonymous”

or

  • “Anonymous Member viewed your profile”

to appear in the section “Who Viewed Your Profile”. This facility is there for members of LinkedIn to utilise but what happens when they do? There are three options:-

  • Your name and headline (Recommended)
    Ian Calvert

    Ian Calvert

    *Engage* ^Collaborate^ *Influence* What do these words mean to you? *Top 1% viewed LinkedIn* & *Top 5% Kred 2012″
    Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Anonymous profile characteristics such as industry and title

Note: Selecting this option will disable Profile Stats. Whenever you switch to anonymous, your viewer history gets erased.

No photo

Someone in the Entrepreneur function in the Information Technology and Services industry from Oxford, United Kingdom

  • You will be totally anonymous.

Note: Selecting this option will disable Profile Stats. Whenever you switch to anonymous, your viewer history gets erased.

or Cancel

[ Note:-

These can be turned on and off as required but in my personal opinion you should not be doing this. Why? Well when you change to either of the two Anonymous functions, you disable you Profile Statistics which in turn, affects your rankings. By making this change, when people are looking for you or someone like you in your profession, disabling the Statistics lowers you down the search rankings. So, personally I would not recommend you doing this. ]

OK – now back to the original points and the conference call…….

The main objective of the telephone conference call was to discuss the reason why when people contact LinkedIn, everyone get’s the same message:-

Hi Ian,

Thanks for contacting me.  Thanks for sharing your comments on how we can make LinkedIn better concerning the anonymous viewer feature. Feedback from members like you provides us with insights that identify the needs of our customers. I sent your message to our research and development team for review and consideration in future developments with this feature.Although every idea cannot be individually responded to or implemented, please know that we do monitor suggestions quite closely for recurring themes. I’d like to invite you to follow us on Twitterhttp://twitter.com/linkedin or check out the LinkedIn Blog http://blog.linkedin.com for the latest notifications on site improvements. Both options are great ways to stay informed about new releases and exciting work going on behind the scenes here at LinkedIn.I’m sorry for any inconvenience the anonymous viewer feature has caused
So, standard responses were the main compliant I was receiving from people but also, people were explaining to me, their situation as in:-
  • The idea of people viewing them made them feel uncomfortable
  • Constantly seeing anonymous profiles appearing in their list every day was a concern
  • People who had court orders against people and they did not know if these people were viewing thus breaking the law and the order
  • (Also, when they explained this to LinkedIn, they did not care or comment – in most cases they replied with the same standard response)
  • People that were being harassed by people were concerned that these people were viewing them
  • (Again, when they explained this to LinkedIn, they did not care or comment – in most cases they replied with the same standard response)
  • Being driven out of their previous job by staff and/or management – they didn’t know if it was these people or person viewing them

I put all these points to the people at LinkedIn during the conference call and they could understand where people’s’ concerns and issues were coming from. They informed me, they were already looking into this, seeing if, there is a way, facilities could be developed to improve the reporting process. They then explained that this reporting process, is already currently being reviewed and due to the roll out, of placing the “Help facility/centre” on to mobile and tablet devices like it is on the desktop version, they could not disclose a time frame.

Now the other side….
With the background of LinkedIn evolving from the recruitment industry (that we all believe and understand was origins of LinkedIn), they explained why this feature was in place:-
  • Recruiters, when looking for potential candidates to “head-hunt”, for positions they have to fill, like this facility, so they can view potential candidates that fall within their search results
  • By viewing the person anonymously, they can then decide which person they then contact. This is as some people they view, may not be suitable for the positions they have available
  • If their viewing was Public, then the people they had viewed, could be contacting them directly. When the recruiters feel that they are not suitable candidates, they do not want these candidates contacting them
  • Companies or recruiters, when they have received Curriculum Vitae‘s  (CV’s) or Job Applications, will use this facility to review the candidate to compare what information they have provided is the same as what they portray on LinkedIn
  • Furthermore, they can actually see more information on person applying as to the type of person they are by their activity etc

So now the two sides of the argument have been put forward…….

In summary, both sides seem to have very valid points as why the Anonymous should or shouldn’t be in place – which is or who is, right on this topic?

Personally, from my point of view, I do feel that there should be a feature where you can opt to block people, who are viewing/looking at you Anonymously. We are all professional people and we are using this site to network and create our Circles of Influence.

For example, if we were at a networking event (which after all, it is our decision to attend), see and meet other professional people, it is our decision as to whether we talk to them or exchange contact details. Thus, I feel the same function should be available to us. We should have the right as to who views our profile or not on LinkedIn as we would if we were at a Networking event.

As a result, I put this point across to LinkedIn and they did say that this was something that they were looking into and would raise this at their product development meetings that are taking place.

I asked that they raise this as a matter of concern, and would they be able to say when an answer / solution would be known? They said, that after their meetings, they would come back to myself with some answers and updates shortly, so as soon as I hear anything or receive further updates, I will share these with you all.

If you have any questions either contact myself via here or complete the form below:-

Advertisements

LinkedIn Help or should we say the lack of it when needed……..

Have you noticed that you have received the following on

‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ section of your LinkedIn profile :-

– Someone at ‘Company ABC’ has viewed your profile

– Anonymous viewer has viewed your profile

– Anonymous viewer, A LinkedIn member has viewed your profile

Who are you?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #ServiceAddress #Service-Address #Anonymous #LinkedIn #Viewing #Members

Do I have something that you want?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #ServiceAddress #Service-Address #Anonymous #LinkedIn #Viewing

What are you wanting to get from me?

#IanCalvert #Ian-Calvert #IanMCalvert #Ian-M-Calvert #ServiceAddress #Service-Address #Anonymous

Ever since I have been a member of LinkedIn, I have always had any of the above appear on the section of ‘Who’s Viewed Your Profile’ on my LinkedIn profile either on a daily basis or every two to three days. When you complain or raise the topic with LinkedIn via their Help Forum’s/Support Section, they always provide the standard stock answer:-

We do not have a way to block other members from viewing profiles, this includes anonymous members, I am sorry.  We are considering adding such a feature but I do not have release date to provide.  Should such a feature be rolled out there will be an announcement

More and more members are finding this to be totally annoying and in some cases a cause of concern as you don’t really who they are or why they are doing it. This can create immense distress sometimes, as one member placed in a comment, “I have a court order against someone but how do I know if it is these people who I have court orders or injunctions against?” Thus, this facility can distress them as they are unable to find out who or why they have been viewed. Examples of this topic being discussed include:-

http://community.linkedin.com/questions/83151/anonymous-viewers-1.html#comment-124781

or

http://community.linkedin.com/questions/32330/linked-in-member-or-anonymous.html#comment-121600

Both the links above, are just two of many questions that have been raised in their (LinkedIn) community groups, yet everyone seems to get the same standard stock response as mentioned above. So, what is there to be done? It would seem there is nothing that can be done except just keep asking and raising it to see if anything will be done….

Or is it……or should something be done?

Well the answer I would say is YES – something does need to be done and here is why…

LinkedIn recently lowered the age for joining LinkedIn from 18 (except China) as stated below:-

(details on the changes to their terms and conditions are here – plus here is the blog by Christina Allen on the reason behind the launch of  University Pages which then lead to the launch of lowering the age of joining LinkedIn to enjoy the benefits of “LinkedIn – Now for Education” )

With all the issues on the internet of stalking and trolling and together with stalking in the real world, we all have to be careful as to how we let and monitor our children on the internet. So, if I was allowing my two daughters to be on LinkedIn, and they came to me saying they were having lots of anonymous viewers, I would certainly want some answers and have to re-consider allowing them to be on LinkedIn.

When I raised this (on several occasions including this one) with other’s, they were of the very same opinion about their children too. In essence, whether it is teenagers who are the next generations of Professional Networkers, Woman or Men, the right to be allowed to view members should not be allowed in today’s modern society.

LinkedIn are clearly allowing people to operate like stalkers or trolls with their full support by continuing to allow this facility to continue. Yet why? Has LinkedIn not learnt anything from Twitter and the issues raised here:-

Whilst I can’t say that trolling or stalking has taken place here on LinkedIn (to my knowledge), I do think that LinkedIn really need to start thinking of not just the anonymous viewing but also the sign up method (example here about a 10-year-old?)

These are just my thoughts, but I would be glad to hear your thoughts on this topic of “Anonymous Viewing” or if you want to comment on “the new lower age for joining” via the reply section below or by completing this form:-