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LinkedIn is ignoring user settings (petermolnar.net)
380 points by pmlnr on Jan 14, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 191 comments

2 months ago I signed up for a 30 day trial to search for people to hire and then 140 eu/mo if I decide to continue using it.

Of course I forgot to stop it (they were pretty quiet also) and they charged me 1400+ eu for a full year because...why not - no refunds (that's what their page says).

I know, I know...should have read the whole shebang. Lost 1400 euros for something I didn't really use. I was about to pay for a month and discontinue but now I feel robbed. I do websites myself and I write in `bold - caps - red` when I'm about to charge someone for a full year.

Shady tactics.

The same thing happened to me - you can get a refund. I sent them a very nasty email and contacted my credit card company. Eventually they sent me some bullshit about "We'll let it slide this time, because we're nice" and gave me my money back. Call or email ASAP, I'm sick at the thought of LinkedIn ever making another cent.

Same happened to me a while back when trying out Pro. I went to cancel it and they charged it a day prior to the day I was supposed to cancel on.

If this ever happens again : call your credit card company for a chargeback. The ball will be in their court to prove the charge was fair, which they will never be able to do. Plus they get fined for the chargeback itself (“chargeback fee”). And, if it happens too often, their cc premiums go up. Triple win!

If someone messes with your CC, call your bank immediately. Chargebacks are a powerful tool. Use them.

Thanks. I did get it resolved at the time via what was said about sending a vehement email but yes, as much as I have issues w/ how credit companies operate, there are some good consumer protections these days.

If you paid by credit card, consider contacting your card company and initiating a chargeback. If LinkedIn was not up-front about charging you immediately for a full year after the 30-day trial, then let them prove that this tactic is not fraudulent to the credit card company.

Saw your comment after posting mine, but you’re spot on!

My credit card company offers a way to generate a one-time credit card number so that I can safely trial a service and have the monthly charges stop after one month. If I want to continue the service, I can provide my real static credit card number.

That's awesome, but it unfortunately won't help when a company charges for a full year in advance like LinkedIn does.

Mine also let's you chose a maximum amount that can be charged to the temporary card number. I usually add 10% or 20% extra to the expected amount so that unexpected taxes or shipping costs don't block the whole transaction.

I really love the feeling of safety that I get from chosing the max amount, being sure that I won't be overcharged.

I found out the hard way that my bank added 10% extra for the reasons you mention. I ended up getting ripped off for a smallish amount on a big transaction because of this.

I love the points I get from my current cards, but what card is this actually? This sounds like a really killer card I’d use frequently for these use cases.

The service I was writing about is French: http://www.service-virtualis.com/virtualis/index.htm

So unfortunately if you get points I'm guessing you're from North America and probably won't be able to apply.

I haven't searched but there might be such services available to you in a nearer bank.

Thank you for the link (I'm French too), but my bank (BNP) is not on the list :'(

I've done it with a Citi Double Cash card. It's a nice all around card: 2% cash back, price matching, temporary numbers, etc. Don't take my recommendation blindly though, do your own research first of course!

Edit: As a meta-sidenote, it was very difficult for me to write this comment without feeling like it would come across as corporate shilling. I have no connection to Citi and nothing to gain from recommending their card, but there's no way for anybody else to know that, and the issue of selling old accounts is a real one (though don't know about HN specifically). I wonder what the best solutions are to this sort of issue.

Unfortunately only the shittiest of the shitty banks (BofA and Citi) appear to still offer temp numbers. Amex did for a while but dropped it.

Bank of America credit cards have this, they call it ShopSafe. My old Citi card had that although I can’t verify they still offer it. I believe Capital One has virtual credit card number capability as well.

Yup, Citi still has it

US market here... Citi card. For many reasons, I loathe Citi and would like to drop using them, but I keep this card for this one feature.

I did this strategy just today with privacy.com which isn't a credit card at all but bills your bank account directly.

All the citibank cards can generate Virtual Account Numbers with time and dollar limits. I use them frequently.

Sure it can. The Bank of America system lets you set an upper credit limit on the temporary numbers. While BofA can ignore it at their discretion, if you set the limit at around $100 I suspect they'd deny a $1400 charge.

yes it does, the one time use credit card number comes with an amount of money.

When I order a 20€ item, I generate a credit card number valid for a single use of 20€. If the merchant tries to charge 19.99€ or 21€ or any different amount it will be rejected (and the merchant may have to pay penalty for payment being rejected).

That's super cool, I'd never heard of that. I'd only known of the benefit of some cryptocurrencies bringing that feature

Was this before or after Microsoft bought them? It would be extremely unpleasant if that behavior was outwardly supported by Microsoft.

Edit: 2 months ago! Microsoft needs to fix LinkedIn. They bought them 6 months ago, if they dont change this dark pattern behvaior, they appear to be sanctioning it.

I suspect management has set some revenue goals for LinkedIn.

People who would otherwise act sensibly can talk themselves into some shady stuff when there's money and career advancement at stake.

This is probably exactly what happened. I can easily imagine upper management settings unrealistic performance goals that force the minions to make dark choices...

> upper management setting unrealistic performance goals


> force the minions to make dark choices


Unless some project manager was tied to a chair and beaten with a rubber hose, no one was forced to do anything.

If a career criminal takes 1400€ from me because his employer has set unrealistic performance goals, I still want that criminal to see justice and my money returned.

I agree, but management acting ignorant of how the sausage is made is just as bad.

Basically, that criminal's employer should also face dire consequences or his take away will be "lets properly vet the next criminal I hire so this doesn't happen again".

Now, this is not Uber levels of shady shit, but it's a start. I hope if we remain vigilant and make our voices heard things will improve for the better.

Certainly, I would also wish that the criminal's employer were to face justice. That's basically a given.

And management always escapes the blame.

"Really? Automatic billing? For an entire year?! I never ordered any such thing, I just set up impossible revenue goals! Oh my cheese and whiskers!"

It was in 8 of November. Just checked.

I think it's high time to reign this practice. All services should explicitly ask before extension. Some people may want to waive such a "request to continue" off but customers must explicitly sign such a waiver. In general, "continue without ask" is a highly unethical practice at the very least.

Already done. Sadly Linked In adheres to US law and not Dutch/EU consumer rights.

I have no faith any US administration will ever do anything good for its citizens but keep fighting the fight.

Do they? If they do business in the EU they are within reach, are they not?

Perhaps they'll have different terms & condition, depending on your IP/bank number.

I always but a calendar note for this exact reason, except for one time I forgot to with Slingbox. No monthly receipt and it was only after looking at my bill several months later that I realized I was being quietly charged. If I’m being billed monthly, I should have a receipt sent to me every month. Shady tactics.

Sadly, this a trend I am seeing more and more with monthly recurring subscription companies no matter their size. Even with Netflix, I don't get a monthly receipt or billing reminder. There is no excuse for not sending out a monthly reminder and/or receipt each time my credit card is charged. It's a shady tactic to reduce churn but in the end, I am sure increases chargebacks and results in increased customer complaints.

If you subscribe through Google play, you get a monthly email for each subscription. At least that's how it works for me.

Adobe employs similar tactics.

Even though I was paying per month for the Creative Suite, I was told that I was only able to cancel my subscription during a small timeframe each year. If I didn't take advantage of the opportunity at that time, I would have to fork out for the service each month for another full year. I couldn't preempt it by asking to have the subscription cancelled when the year was up - I had to notify them at that time. I did have the option to cancel early if I paid a large penalty (some large percentage of the remaining monthly payments as far as I recall).

The whole thing left me with an aversion to Adobe in general and provided the impetus I needed to look at other solutions.

Any luck calling your credit card company or bank and disputing the charge? Credit card companies actually give the average consumer a lot of clout against shady business tactics like this so long as you have a good history with the card issuer.

I was able to get Adobe to let me out just a couple days ago. I was pretty harsh about Adobe to the person I was speaking with but made sure they understood I appreciated them. Took me 45 minutes but it can be done.

Unfortunately I didn't attempt this.

I literally just realized I was a premium member after reading this comment and cancelled my subscription.

Yeah, I canceled my premium membership a few years ago after they just kept doing stupid stuff, and only this week finally got around to deleting my LinkedIn account entirely.

LinkedIn barely serves any useful purpose any more, and with Microsoft in charge I don't imaging them using the data for positive-for-me purposes.

I see how they're deadly silent during the trial, but as soon as you cancel you're bombarded with emails nagging to return.

Call your CC, tell them they charged you incorrectly, include the page saying 140/month.

It's not about that. I'm the CEO. I'm sure it's somewhat my mistake because they wouldn't risk lawsuits for shady tactics. Probably a 0.8px text in gray somewhere on that page saying I'll get charged yearly and not monthly.

"...they wouldn't risk lawsuits for shady tactics."

This sounds like you don't do business often (with US corporations?) They're hoping more people like you just let it ride. That's how they're making money.

Hit them where it hurts - have the bank perform a chargeback. Enough of that happens, and their rates to accept credit cards goes up.

I completely agree. This is their core business: they know very well what to do so that people don't cancel (keep quiet, not send a reminder), they know equally well the percentage of people who will get mad, they know how small the group is, and that the net benefit is well worth it.

I don't think one chargeback changes anything, but if people are more aware (not just in case of LinkedIn, but in general), this could make this shady business strategy less profitable.

Doesn't matter. I recently got suckered into their free premium trial as well which then resulted in monthly charges. I complained quite vocally about their tactics and got it refunded straight away. It is worth a shot. At the very least be willing to pay a minimum of a month's fees.

Are you sure you didn't buy enterprise offering that actually sells annual job slots that you can use for unlimited job postings? Your description sounds like it and that's what big companies usually do. I think you were actually looking for pay-for-performance job postings: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/74054/pay-per-...

Disclaimer: LinkedIn employee, but in a different team.

I had something similar happen, and LinkedIn was willing to offer a refund after contacting them.

What would have happened if your bank asked for approval for charge to your card?

What if credit cards had an api or so for requesting monthly payments... similar to how app permission works.

Google did something similar to me with Google Apps, and I lost $500 over 2 years. They refused to refund me too.

I now have zero desire to use any paid Google service ever again.

Was thinking of using them to hire for my company and you just talked me out of it.

In the EU they have to write these things upfront in big letters. I doubt this is legal..

You should file a complaint with you consumer protection agency. And ask you bank to cancel the payment, just call it fraud.

I know, it's easy to feel like you were being stupid. But they are intentionally preying in you, it's not by accident, it's by design. That IMO makes it fraud, fight back.

This kind of automatic subscription needs to be regulated, it's still the most prominent dark pattern.

Amazon is actually really good with this. I got a mail early January that I had just been signed up for a whole year of amazon prime, which I saw after my holidays 2 days into the 'subscription'.

I was instantly fuming and ready to rain down hell fire when I conveniently found a button to cancel. I could easily undo the whole thing from the site with no user interaction. They made it very clear the money would be refunded. Props to them.

I faced the same issue with Audible. But audible refunded the amount after I called them. They even offered a discount instead of refund.

Same thing with RocketLawyer. They got me for a whole year and never once sent me a receipt.

I called their customer service and the guy who answered was well prepared for the call because it must happen to them all the time. At least I got a six-month refund.

Shady? You signed up for a trial, didn't ready the terms, didn't cancel, and they charged you as they said they would. How is that shady? They did exactly what they said they would.

When you sign up for the free trial, it literally says right there on the checkout page "Total after free trial: ($99.95 x 12 months) $1,199.40". Beyond that, they email you 7 days before the trial ends to warn you.

the shady part was that they charged him for a full year after he forgot to cancel, despite quoting the price on a monthly basis when he signed up.

(Also, "free" auto-renew trials like this without refunds are by themselves shady imo)

He says they didn't quote him the yearly price. All you have to do is go through the beginning of their trial signup process to see that they clearly disclose it in a completely open and visible way.

The whole practice of free trials which seamlessly blend into paid service is shady imo. Not counting that they billed him for a whole year.

What's annoying is that it's difficult to be a 'good' company in this environment. Ours offers a completely free trial of our service, no obligation or sneaky practises whatsoever. It is what it says it is: a trial. Customers find it difficult to believe we're not going to stealth-charge them, even though we take no payment details, so there's no way we possibly could.

A trial that automatically turns into a paid subscription isn't a trial, it's a deferred subscription with an initial free period. Stop calling that a "trial".

Some (all?) EU countries say you can't use the word "free" for this type of shenanigans. My employer went through meticulously removing the word "free" and surprise, surprise once you tell customers what the real situation is the flow of new sign ups slows considerably.

I love EU consumer protection efforts...

There are so many shady business practices, and I love it when the EU fights back :)

In Germany most print subscriptions are "good", i.e. if your free trial expires you can just cancel after one month.

LinkedIn is a weird, weird place.

There's always people wanting to add me, but then they mostly don't introduce themselves. Even half of the recruiters who add me don't do an intro. How is that networking?

The articles seem pretty low quality. Sorry to say it, but a lot of them seem to be written as a form of homework, as in "you should write something to be seen". There's rarely any insightful comments on news pieces either.

And then there's Oleg. Doing a parody of him is basically the only form of humour on LinkedIn. Do you agree?

The endorsements system is messed up. My 6th grade teacher endorsed me for "derivatives" and "investment". That's not quite the same as a colleague or a manager, is it? But you won't know unless you check all those links.

The one thing it's good for is as a replacement for a rolodex. No need to have business cards anymore, you have LinkedIn.

Recruitment is too widespread for introductions. I'd wager most of us on HN get at least 1 message a week, with many getting 2-3 per day. We're interested in the roles, not the recruiter. It's up to us to judge whether the recruiter is any good - and it's usually not until you've actually worked with them do you find that out. "RateMyRecruiter" doesn't exist, you can only really judge it based on how they act.

I'm interested in 5 points.

Asking Rate/Salary.



Title (or if contract, length of contract).


If those are supplied up-front, I can immediately accept or dismiss 95% of messages. However at the moment I have to ask for 1 or 2 more points usually.

Only then do I usually go onto Glassdoor, start asking about why the role is now available, employee and contractor turnover, average employees time at the company and work environment.

Endorsements I agree are ridiculous, you can go on Fiverr and buy 20 customised endorsements within 24 hours.

LinkedIn is going the MySpace way. Total crap “content”, endless amount of people that indeed just want “connect” without intro, reason or anything else than bumping their numbers. Weird thing, I found it pretty useful up to 2 years ago. I guess that’s when the influencers takeover and bullshit blogging began.

God, you should see the number of 20 line posts, each line in a paragraph by itself, about how someone hired someone that others wouldn't. I agree with you about the 2 years/influencers thing.

Yeah, I think the platform is more popular among recruiters, which leads these types of posts to become popular with likes/comments/arguments. I am genuinely curious how they get tens of thousands of engagements though. I can't imagine getting in public arguments about this stuff. Maybe it's a form of networking for recruiters? To us outsiders, it's just plain bizarre.

I no longer connect with any requests unless they include a personal message in the request, because they're either a "legitimate" connection trawler, or (I suspect) LinkedIn making the request "on behalf of" the "requestor."

The last time (among many) that I accepted a generic, canned message request, I waited a week for the guy to say something to me. Nothing, and I dropped him.

One problem for LinkedIn is that they have not made themselves so obviously above-board that a suspicion like mine would be implausible.

> The articles seem pretty low quality. Sorry to say it, but a lot of them seem to be written as a form of homework, as in "you should write something to be seen". There's rarely any insightful comments on news pieces either.

Most of the content on LinkedIn is self-congratulatory circe-jerking (for lack of a better term). People give Reddit shit for that, but it has nothing on the ego-stroking and pandering that happens on LinkedIn.

> The one thing it's good for is as a replacement for a rolodex

That's the only thing I use it for. It was "ok" a couple of years ago, I even went premium for 2 months while looking for a new job (not worth it, at all!). Now it's just spam.

My last company just used it as a cheap ad platform. Staff where encouraged to "like" the weekly billboard.

A sleazy site abused by sleazy companies, including the owner.

edit: Oh, forgot to add.. I think people only give endorsements so you think twice about disconnecting them (you'll lose their endorsements).

Recruiters want to add you so their job postings show up in your timeline. They don't add messages because it's a driftnet tactic. They're hoping people looking for jobs will just add them in case they get sent a message.

>. Even half of the recruiters who add me don't do an intro. How is that networking?

They want access to your contacts list. People are more likely to add someone who is connected to a person they already know/are connected to.

I use LinkedIn by simply adding whoever seems interesting, without adding an intro or note to the request. I reach out only when it seems I need their services, for example if I want to work at the company they work for. LinkedIn also has the advantage of being exponential in the connections you can have due to second and third order connections; when I add one person I also add their entire network.

This happens to me with ad sales reps. A blind add from them with the default message.

I have to ask any sales people seeing this--does this ever work? Is it simply to get your content marketing materials to show up in my feed for nurturing? Or do you expect me to accept and be open to hearing a sales pitch? What is the success rate of this tactic?

Can you expand more on Oleg? Checked out his page very briefly and seems rather normal.

It's just the faux-inspirational tone of it that annoys people. Especially Brits, they hate that sort of thing.

It's always something like "I hired a guy nobody else wanted, and to everyone's surprise they worked hard and prospered."

Or "A guy made a bad mistake, but I didn't fire them because now I'd paid x millions for his education."

As a UX guy I have noticed so many dumb quirks, tiny inconsistencies and flat-out design errors like:

- URLs not being clickable or selectable in many contexts for no good reason

- icon positions/sizes being off by a pixel between different pages

- if you're typing a message in their mobile app, and the text input field loses focus for whatever reason, everything you typed in so far is erased (this was true a few years ago and I essentially "rage-quit" the LinkedIn app after that)

... that I am absolutely convinced that their technology stack is a Frankenstein's monster of different chunks of code and logic, with a similar-enough skin on the outside for all of the parts to fool the managers (both inside and outside LinkedIn) into believing the website works.

(I know, I know: in a way all software projects relying on other libraries are Frankensteins, but you know what I'm talking about here: the parts don't even fit together properly)

These kinds of "ignores its own rules" bits fits perfectly with that.

I really wonder what the internal culture of that company is. I bet there's a lot of turnover, leading to this mess.

Another UX guy here. Right after they did their redesign, I had an initial phone screen where the interviewer asked if I had a portfolio. I told them that it was on my Linkedin profile, and the interviewer said that he had looked there first, but couldn't find it. I knew that I had put it on there, so I went to LinkedIn to see if the recruiter had made a mistake..

About 2 minutes later, I figured out what had happened. The redesign had moved the Contact & Personal Info section to the side of the screen, and by default it was collapsed. Originally it was right under your profile picture & job title, but for some reason they decided to move & hide it. Very strange.

My money is on separate teams that don't communicate with each other. Would explain the icon inconsistencies I mentioned earlier too.


This was actually my first time seeing and using the new UI. I (wrongly) assumed that this person was using the old UI where the links were more prominent.

Could this be on purpose. Some anti botting technology that messes with decision tree bots

I always think about LinkedIn as a "light scam". LinkedIn always pretended to help businesses and employees but indeed they don't do anything special to match people except for recruiters, which at the end it is enough with a search. To put it straight, it is not a Tinder for business.

I tried many paid services like Ads, Premium, and API. They are subpar. I recruit better via Reddit than via LinkedIn, you can post in a group with hundreds of thousands and it is a ghost town when nobody pay attention. they refuse API access for obvious uses, etc.

Let's give the power back to users. Please someone create an open source alternative, where everyone will contribute to do something good.

Wait. That was just a dream.

I tried once, I don't think it will replace classic recruiting.

Yeah I don’t think so either. I actually think it’s great we are not floor with a thousand recruitment here (mostly by staffing agencies). However, for this relatively small but active community, this is one of the best things I like about HN.

Add private connection requests (no one but you knows who you're connected to or how many you have) to HN. Problem solved.

LinkedIn (i.e., data.com) is far and away the best tool for recruiting/accessing GTM professionals. And it's in China. That doesn't sound like that bad of a niche to me.

I spent some time searching but still can't find out what a GTM professional is. What is it?

Go To Market, so sales and marketing and everything that hangs off that

That explains why LinkedIn feels so "salesy" and "markety."

And why it would be so easy to find a "GTM" person there

GTM is an automotive company, though it's European, so IDK why the OP would be recruiting in China.

(Though my initial tech-centered recognition was a common reference to Google Tag Manager :)

How do you hire on Reddit? There's a/more than one dedicated subreddit?

I've hated Linkedin for years, but what's interesting is to understand why. I think it's a mix of - really, really bad UX resulting in an ugly product - the level of emptiness of the news feed, full of people talking about respectful bosses and good work condition while quoting Steve Jobs (oh, the irony) - seeing people becoming apparently more successful than me (if I have to be honest) - the level of intrusiveness of the platform in general

Despite all that, I've been afraid of missing job opportunities if I left the platform. And I don't know why, because I've only found one job through Linkedin in 10 years.

I wish I had the guts to leave it entirely.

What bothers me the most about LinkedIn is how vapid everyone seems to be.

Everone has a job title like 'dynamic individual searching for creative opportunities' when they really mean unemployed. It's like a game where everyone pretends while simultaneously knowing that everyone else is pretending too.

> It's like a game where everyone pretends while simultaneously knowing that everyone else is pretending too.

To be fair, that sounds a lot like job-hunting, in general. The whole process can be filled with rituals meant to obfuscate the fact that you just want a job.

Pretty much. When searching around for advice on how to market yourself on LinkedIn, that sort of title, though full of shit, is what is recommended.

I wish I could have an alternate profile or A/B test. I think my current one is detrimental to the job search because I list jobs going back 17 yrs vs my resume which is tailored to my current field. With a second profile, I'd narrow it down. Maybe I should do that anyway.

Sounds like dating.

Sounds like half the workplaces, too.

I've long thought of an alternative, but I don't think we can do better than this actually, as people are, by nature, vapid, in the sense that they will always pretend to be someone they are not. I wish someone will create an alternative where, unlike Facebook, people don't feel miserable after visiting the site.

There are alternatives[1][2], it's just that it doesn't feel like they have critical mass outside certain markets.

XING is focused on German speakers and claims circa €150 million in revenue. Viadeo claims 65 million users. They're not exactly small or overtly failing entities.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XING

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viadeo

I don't like the company and I don't like the app, but I vastly prefer a single spammy point of contact for headhunters over "hey our recruiting software scraped your email address, how are you?"

> I wish I had the guts to leave it entirely.

Just get it done. Maybe see if you can export your data first, just for your own peace of mind. :)

I deleted my LinkedIn profile years ago. The amount of spam I was getting from them was ridiculous (the owner of the pizza joint next door wants to add you, etc.). The final straw was when someone pointed out to me that unless you keep it up to date, it reflects poorly on you. And I had no interest in doing that.

I deleted mine too, but recently I wanted to see someone else's page and was not allowed. Not even a detail shown without login.

Make a fake account using a throwaway email everytime you want to view a page.

If your referrer is from Google, they actually do allow you to see public detail.

So just override referrer header, and you'll see a lot more.

Doesn't work for me either, at least not with cURL.

Don't forget that you have to misspell Referer.


I'm having a really bad day with typos and overlooking them. You are correct; it does work with https://google.com as referrer. I'm updating the entry.

EDIT aaand it stopped working. It was either a glitch or it will lock you out after a few requests.

It definitely locks you out after a few requests. In the past I built a LinkedIn profile scraper, but they are really really good at locking down their data. If you even somewhat appear to be a bot, you’re blocked.

Can it differentiate between a bot and a human opening up a dozen links in tabs? I suspect the tumblr one can't, it appears to rate limit me for using there archive pages.

That's what the linked post is about, no? How a public profile isn't really public.

A hiring manager told me recently I need to work on “curating [my] linked in presence” in response to how I could position myself better for the job

Sad but true. Clients look me up on linkedin (I know because they mention it to me) and I'll bet if I didn't have a linkedin page they'd think that's weird.

It also, if you invest a little effort to produce an appealing profile, does a great deal to make up for weak face-to-face networking skills. The "LinkedIn, faugh, who needs it" attitude around here really doesn't do an introvert any favors, I think.

Why not host your own resume?

No reason not to do both. But if you only do one, LinkedIn has discovery benefits that are very hard to equal with self-hosting.

Actually, that's a good point. If you don't want to do linked in, then host one on your own site, and make sure its on your resume.

I do both.

I know I do. If you applied and you can't even keep up a decent LinkedIn, why should I interview you? Or better yet, trust you?

Same here, I unsubscribed about 10 years ago and never regretted, but although choosing not to receive anything anymore, they kept pestering me with unwanted invitations until I contacted again them in 2014 and finally got completely deleted from their lists (hopefully).

I've never had a LinkedIn account and I still get spam from them. The "so and so wants to connect with you on LinkedIn."

Technically this is because Linkedin asks to be given access to a user's contacts (phone, email or otherwise) and then displays the contacts as people possible to connect to, regardless of whether the contacts are members already or not. No doubt some manager with shady ethics thought this a very clever way to expand the number of users.

I used to just delete LinkedIn emails but started to hit unsubscribe on each email I got, one month after another. That lasted for 6 months before I flipped and said that this was the only warning I’d give that they’d be taken to court if they ever emailed me again. Not a single email since that point, so an internal blacklist must exist.

You can preemptively add yourself to their "do not contact" list:


I did it four years ago and they've honored it since.

The captcha on that page is broken in Chrome 63.

I did the same and still received spam from them for a couple months. After contacting them, it stopped, but I still get "networking requests" from real life friends and colleagues every so often. I assue those are just because I'm in these people's contact lists or something.

I'd like to see this issue get more attention. However, I did think this was already known — anecdotally, I've not really been able to view public profiles ≈50% of the time without hitting an auth-wall.

What I'd like to know more, is if LinkedIn tracks non-logged-in viewers somehow. I have an inkling there's some kind of cookie-mongering taking place that informs the person's profile that you viewed who you are (if they are able to ascertain that). It's just an inkling, but strong enough to make sure I'm always browsing others' profiles in Incognito.

It's definitely a cookie wall of some sort.

On the computer I used to access LinkedIn from, I use two browsers. One for general browsing, and one for "more sensitive content" (eg things with passwords). I used to log into LinkedIn with the second one.

Trying to look at public LinkedIn profiles using the general browser (which has no LinkedIn cookie) never works. Always shows the log-in-wall. Whereas looking at the exact same profile (cut-n-pasting-the-url) using the browser-used-for-secure-content did always work. 100% reproducible.

That is so odd. So I use Safari for general browsing. Typically use Chrome in private window but rarely for general browsing (only sometimes). For a while I would always check linkedin profiles from google private window and a google search and it stopped working a few months ago (getting an auth wall). After reading your message, I opened Firefox (which I never use), googled a name, click on the linkedin name, and bang it worked!

Weird. Yeah, no idea. Sounds like they have some other exceptions in place too then. :)

On the other hand I don't use Google any more (mostly StartPage or DDG), which is likely why I hadn't noticed the use-Google workaround.

there is https://www.linkedin.com/me/profile-views/ the rule is that if wou wanna see who viewed yours you have to let the viewed profiles know who you are ; conversely if you don't wanna let the viewed profiles know who you are you can not see who viewed yours

The issue at hand is how LinkedIn defines “public”. From the public profile settings page the author linked:

> Select what shows via searches on Bing, Google, etc. as well as on public profile badges and permitted services like Outlook, when the viewers are not logged-in members or did not bind their LinkedIn account to their account on such services.

Its not anyone who isn’t logged in but rather a subset of unauthenticated users who discover your profile through a specific set of avenues

Clicking on the informational icon next to “public” reinforces what they mean:

>All LinkedIn members as well as others who find you through search engines (e.g. Google, Bing) or other servies.

The exact wording is "Make my public profile visible to everyone". They need to re-word that sentence for certain, this way, it's not true.

I just tried googling the authors profile and got a login-wall coming from Google though.

Are you sure you're not running any browser extensions that might be blocking the Referrer header? On fresh Chrome profile, I didn't get a login-wall from Google, but I did get one coming directly to the URL.


How is "accessible via the home page of 99%" of the Internet not public?

Sort of funny LinkedIn story: I was fed up with the recruiters constantly contacting me without any relevance to the work I actually would like to do (if I was looking for a job in the first place, which I am not as my profile states). So I went ahead and changed my job descriptions to things like "The theme for Fresh Prince Of Bel Air plays in the background" and I have now been contacted about my Fresh Prince Of Bel Air skills twice.

Those are the "spamcruiters" who just use bots to scrape the pages and automate the whole process.

I don't use it myself but I've heard from others who have, several times, received offers for jobs in the company they were already working at.

LinkedIn has suggested that I connect with addresses of mail lists.

I just changed my public description to say "Idiot recruiters Fuck Off".

That dropped the amount of er... idiot recruiters substantially. :)

If I remember correctly, Linkedin recently lost a court case where some startup was scraping it's public data for analytics purpose. And pretty sure LinkedIn didn't like that.

Edit: Heres the article about the court case.[Aug 15, 2017] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-microsoft-linkedin-ruling...

I still hear a lot of complaints about this, has there been any confirmation that LinkedIn changed anything at all?

There seems to be a relationship between 'not logged in' and 'not a LinkedIn user'. I have found sometimes that a profile isn't visible (asks me to log in) because at one time I was logged in. Switching to an incognito window "fixed" it.

That said, I too find that people use LinkedIn in different ways, I try to only link with people whom I know personally, ideally have worked with, and know something about me. I do occasionally get random invites (which I assume is someone trying to reach me) which I will accept and add a calendar entry to remove in 2 weeks. Then if I haven't heard anything from them for 2 weeks I know it was just random 'contacts' spamming or 'people you might want to link with' spamming.

Its an issue private companies are owning the social networks which are the real value for most people. Ie you give away private information which are then sold as targeted ads to you.

For example SMTP is an internet standard yet almost none of the new tech is standardized chat, social networks.

> none of the new tech is standardized chat


> social networks

This is on it's way (sort of) in form of ActivityStreams, webmentions + h-feed, etc. Making something into a standard unfortunately takes a lot of time but with the GDPR it might even get a push, data portability wise.

LinkedIn is a good tool. The recruitment email aspect is definitely quite annoying, but please consider using an alternative email address so you don't get spammed, if that's one of the things you find problematic. It's an easy solution to that (you can also disable notification). I always use separate email addresses to keep my sanity (one for private, one for bank, one for useless stuff, one for mailing list, one for tech, one for school, one for utility bills, and a couple more).

I often use LinkedIn to check out famous people's credentials because I am generally curious about their backgrounds. From time to time I do get a "hello" from really big SV companies, otherwise I would have a hard time to get an initial interview without a LinkedIn profile. I am sure they send like 10,000 requests every month, but it still help speeds the progress with a recruiter directly reaching out to you.

But there was an embarrassing anecdote, something a lot of users had faced before. One day I was on LinkedIn and it asked me whether I want to import contacts, I hit "no thanks", but I think there was another confirmation which I pressed "next" and LinkedIn sent out an invitation to everyone in my email contact list, including many mailing lists. Some mailing lists rejected the email, but some let the email through its filter.

I agree. If it was just a resume hosting tool and a graph of who probably knows who then it would be quite valuable. As long as it is... whatever you call that kind of thing, its always going to be something people hate.

It's tied to an IP address, you have a limited number of visits per day. At least in my experience has been like that, really annoying...

https://webapps.stackexchange.com/a/106476 https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/69654

I think they’ve completely disabled public profiles. I never use LinkedIn, and my own profile is now locked down (though pieces of it show up in search engine cache).

LinkedIn need to be made an example of. They continue to spam with contact recommendations etc even after I closed my account.

Easily the buggiest, spammiest and most dishonest of the social media sites, I hardly find it surprising. Never had any reason to go there other than incessant spam invites, unwanted notifications and the vague promise of potential future value of contacts.

LinkedIn seems to be moving heavily towards monetize at all costs. They’ve always been an Enterprise Company making money off of ads and HR departments. Now they’re going more extreme with aggressive credit card policies and more user limits. They risk killing the goose that’s laying their golden eggs. Facebook is learning it quicker than they are.

Years ago, LinkedIn's early behavior caused me to avoid them. I can't say anything's changed.

I wonder what I'll do if/when I need to engage in a "traditional" job search. There's no way I want to let them into my life, professional nor otherwise.

As for the ongoing "networking" aspect: It reminds me all too much of the "can you do something for me" networking permeating the traditional job search. I've met a minority of really helpful people and generous spirit, in the past, in that context. But, it's individuals you get to know, personally; the proforma data exchanges are mostly just part of the routine and are at best a pre-cursor to those few real connections.

I can't see LinkedIn or its like ever "algorithmizing" that. Though, like I said, I don't have experience with it.

TL;DR: If I'm not a networking cynic, I'm a pragmatist. And with the way LinkedIn has spammed me, because one of my friends once touched their property, however briefly and/or indirectly, I'm not very optimistic their model matched my experience of what actually works and is useful.

And, I don't want their cooties.

Aside from the question of whether the request should be denied... The HTTP status “999 Request Denied” is complete nonsense. What is the point of that?

Am I weird for being more upset about this than the rest of LinkedIn's shady "public" page treatment?

Unfortunately, the german LinkedIn competitor (clone?) xing.com is getting less usable all the time. They try very hard to get you to subscribe and have crippled most of their functions (search etc) in reckless fashion.

Xing is almost a scam, demanding asymmetrical methods for signing to a service (such as their paid membership) and canceling that service. For canceling, you need all kinds of manually sent, privacy endangering proofs of identity while subscribing is of course very straightforward.

Furthermore, they are very aggressive at sending any of these fees to collections if you dispute their shady tactics -- I personally know people who've been bitten by this.

It has left such a bad taste in my mouth that I always strongly suggest everyone to abandon them. What they do is technically legal, but definitely should not be. The company can't die soon enough.

Xing just means that now you have to have profiles on two annoying job networking sites instead of one, because Xing is virtually only used in Germany, and Linkedin in the rest of the world.

LinkedIn is super buggy lately (6 months+); it might be one of those recent ones. Maybe they are transferring from their own tech to Azure, causing all kinds of fun happening?

You might have bought a wrong product then. You should use PPC job posting that only charges you for clicks and doesn't have any trials or annual subscriptions: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/74054/pay-per-...

LinkedIn wants users to sign in to see anyone's profile. what is seen is defined by the user. LinkedIn is behind networking data. who sees who, who connects to who and how are the connections and relations impacting.. etc.. so they are not for showing anyone profile for the public. that is the new business model. this news is mistitled, Linkedin is not anonymous anymore.

I wish Google would obliterate their search engine ranking for redirecting you to a login screen that does not contain any of the text from the preview

Moving forward, I guess I’ll have to make sure my web server has all the info my LinkedIn profile contains.

most people are likely to know how to get to linked in, but your webserver... not so much.

Point taken, though my GitHub page is right under LinkedIn for the common spelling of my name on unbubbled google search. Also, you can figure out the right spelling by skimming the top ten of the other spelling’s results (oddly, LinkedIn is the top hit for both spellings).

I mostly just crosslink across reputable, indexable domains and make sure the same keywords show up everywhere that’s possible. :-)

But, yeah, nothing seems to think my web server should be in the top ten of any keyword search.

> common spelling of my name on unbubbled google search

I think there is a misunderstanding here. Things work the other way around. People do not seek you, linked in takes you to them.

A recruiter more often is looking for people with your skillset, than looking for you specifically.

In other words they are not typing in your name into a search engine, they are typing "aws architect python" etc.

If they were seeking you specifically, they probably already know enough about you and will just get to emailing you directly.

Really? I think most people still know how to go to a website (they might go there by googling the url but that is another matter).

one thing to know, another not to have to know

That's fair, I'm ignoring LinkedIn. Seriously, I'm ignoring a crapload of messages from that service.

yep I noticed this months ago. Very annoying, I set mine to public for a reason...

I just ran into this, and it's weird, because it's not consistent. I tried to look up someone's profile, and saw the same paywall page - but accessing it from a different browser profile (or maybe Incognito - I forget) showed the profile to me.

Easy solution; don't use LinkedIn.

is anyone actually surprised? LinkedIn is even more hostile than Facebook. scum of the earth.

LinkedIn is a complete joke, but also somewhat necessary. It's become the new resume. I personally maintain a parody of myself profile (check it out if you want: https://linkedin.com/in/brndnmtthws) but I'm considering deleting my account altogether because LinkedIn seems to only be used as a spam delivery mechanism these days.

"LinkedIn seems to only be used as a spam delivery mechanism these days."

I created a dedicated email address for Linkedin. And yes, I do receive a lot of spam on this unique email address. For testing purposes, I regularly update this email address to a new one every 6 months, and spam begins to flow a few days after the address change. So I believe either LinkedIn resells email addresses, makes users emails public and easy to scrap, or regularly gets hacked.

Can't see it without logging in... O the irony.

Public not pubic. SMH

No need to be condescending about it ("smh") — people make mistakes...

I need to keep a better eye on my typos o.O Thanks.

Honestly, anything you want private should not go to LinkedIn.

The article's point is the inverse: you cannot get any info public (without login) e even if that's explicitly what you ask for..

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