linkedin-purgatoryJust another black balled innocent stuck in LinkedIn Purgatory.

If you’re a member of LinkedIn, I’m sure you’ve read or at the very least, heard  about the widespread problem of legitimate community members being blacklisted from participating in all of their groups.  Well, it’s happened to me, so now I am one of the many in this growing group of ostracized business owners wondering where in the hell all of my LinkedIn traffic has gone. Actually, I’m not really wondering, it’s been confirmed that someone flagged one of my contributions as spammy or inappropriate. Now all of my posts have gone into moderation – the Hellish purgatory of LinkedIn.

If it was just the traffic, I wouldn’t care so much, but it actually feels quite personal. I’ve been an active member and contributor on LinkedIn for several years. I don’t just submit my blog posts, I like to participate in group discussions and answer questions, none of which I can do now.

Based on the many, many hours spent trying to remedy this problem and research the cause to avoid it happening again; I’ve simply come to the conclusion that LinkedIn is using an extremely flawed spam control protocol. More than the flawed algorithm, I believe that people with malicious motivations can exploit this flaw to impact other community members. Anyone up for testing this theory out?

Many people have written some very professional pleas of appeal on the LinkedIn Community forums. While most of the time I pride myself on being a composed professional, regarding this issue frankly, I feel like I’ve just been ass raped by some stranger in the dark. No face, no name, no explanation – just a burning penetration that’s left me wondering… why?  I believe Aaron Spearin said it best on the LinkedIn Help Forum, “Privacy, protects the accuser as if they’re the victim.”  Too true, all the while I’m stuffing Kotex in my ass crack ☹.

I’ve been given no notification as to why this happened, no means to remedy the situation other than to contact every group owner that I’m a member of to explain my situation and request that they remove me from moderation. Oh, B.T.W, if you’ve ever tried that, then I’m sure you’ve found that many of the groups you’re a member of aren’t even actively moderated!

If you find yourself similarly blacklisted from participating in LinkedIn, don’t waste your time posting your questions or concerns on the LinkedIn Help Forum. You will see hundreds of comments like this one by Andrew,

“I recently went to post in a group on which I contribute regularly and enjoy reading posts from other members. However, I was informed, by notice on the sidebar of the group page, that my posts were being monitored as I had a previous post flagged. I cannot message the group owner, who does not receive messages regarding the group. I also have no way to know which post was flagged, why, or by whom. Yet, as far as I know, I’ve done nothing wrong. This isn’t right.
What gives?”

 Then you will see this regurgitated holier than thou response from Lord Charles Caro,

“One or more of your previous posts to a LinkedIn Group have been flagged as either spam, promotional, or otherwise inappropriate? A group owner/manger has set your group “permissions” to “Requires Moderation”. Once a group owner/manager takes such action the “Requires Moderation” restriction applies to any and all LinkedIn Groups until the original group owner/manager lifts the restriction.
You need to send a message to the group owner of each group you have joined… You should be prepared to do whatever the group owner requires to reset your “permissions” to the default even when that might be an agreement to leave the group.
Until the restriction is lifted you will not be able to post to any LinkedIn Group discussion without the post being individually approved by the group owner/manager.”

How many times have you posted that Charles? Mr. Caro would have you believe that a group moderator flagging a post or comment triggers this blacklisting, but I’m not entirely sure that’s true. It would appear to me that any user flagging something they didn’t like, including YOU personally could trigger this algorithm. And, if you think it’s truly as easy as contacting each and every group moderator, think again. For most of us one of the biggest problems is that the bloody moderators don’t fricking moderate the groups. An even shittier scenario is when a moderator CAN’T moderate their group. What? It’s true, here’s an example of a group moderator, Sharon Eaton, unable to approve her own posts!!!

“Here is another crazy crazy LinkedIn automoderation issue.
My posts to my OWN GROUP have been sent for moderation – I am the moderator, of course, as it is my group, however, my own posts don’t appear in the permissions section for me to approve, they are simply deleted.
I repeat, I am a group owner and my own posts to my own group are automatically being removed by LinkedIn with no options anywhere for me to ‘approve myself’!!!”

I make no claims to be perfect and I acknowledge that there is a possibility someone was offended by something I’ve written, however unintentional it may have been. Shoot, I’m guessing someone was offended by something written in this article, but was any of it something that should have got me banned from participating in my own communities? I’d like to judged by my peers, not by one individual wielding the power of the LinkedIn Ass Decimating Algorithm.