LinkedIn’s New TOS: It’s Personal
Last week, LinkedIn released a preview of its new Terms of Service which will go into effect in May. As I read through the new terms, it got me thinking about the experiences I’ve had on LinkedIn and how they relate to LinkedIn’s new TOS — and of course about how these terms will affect my readers.
LinkedIn Messaging Violations Abound
Just yesterday, the following invitation request came into my LinkedIn account from the CEO of LawMatch.com:
Hi Brenda. As a member of legal industry I’d like to add you to my LinkedIN network. I’m the CEO of LawMatch where we make it a priority to support law firms and legal employers like you. I look forward to networking with you on LinkedIN.
In case it wasn’t clear, I am neither a law firm nor a legal employer, so whatever or whomever sent me that message (I’m assuming it was not really a personal message from the CEO) missed the mark big time.
Here’s another message, received from someone named Christopher Moore, “Manager at Machinery Trader”:
Thanks for connecting with me here on LinkedIn. I must comment that you are a very pretty woman…You’ve got this cute smile that can melt an iceberg.Hope you don’t mind my comment ? How is the weather in your city?
I’m not sure which one of these messages made me angrier. The first one appears to be generated by a bot, and, well, the second one speaks for itself.
At least both Sallie and Chris had the decency to write to me on LinkedIn where I am protected to some extent by LinkedIn’s Terms of Service. I can block and report both of them. In contrast, I have been completely unprotected when, on at least two occasions, I received messages similar to Chris’s directly in my regular e-mail inbox. These letters came from men explicitly claiming to have gotten my information from LinkedIn, but LinkedIn said they had no power over the users because the messages were sent outside of LinkedIn.
How LinkedIn’s New TOS Protects Against Unwanted Messages
I believe LawMatch’s message was spam generated by a bot, so I was able to report it. And I discovered as I was blocking Chris that LinkedIn has a new option allowing me to state that the message “makes m