31 responses

Charles Caro Mar 05 '13 at 09:50 PM
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At some point in the recent past you opened your email address book to LinkedIn for the purpose of sending out invitations and you clicked to proceed with the operation before you fully read and understood what was about to happen.

In opening your email address book to LinkedIn without fully reading the instructions you explicitly allowed LinkedIn to send an invitation to *every* email address stored in your email address book.

LinkedIn not only sent an invitation to each of the email addresses in your email address book but also LinkedIn will send out two (2) invitation reminders to each email address in your email address book.

The *only* way you can stop the invitation reminders from going out is by going to your LinkedIn "Inbox/Invitations/Sent" folder where you must open each pending invitation and click on the "Withdraw" option. This must be done for each pending invitation on a one-by-one basis.

There two (2) very important reasons why you should start the process now as follows:

1. LinkedIn affords each LinkedIn member with only 3,000 invitations, which are supposed to last the member a lifetime. The "Withdraw" process will stop the automatic reminders from going out to recipients, which should relieve some of the embarrassment associated with sending out the invitations.

2. The recipients of those errant invitations have the opportunity to click on either the "I Don't Know" or spam option when the invitation lands in their inbox. Getting just five (5) "I Don't Know" or spam responses will put your account on restriction, which means you will not be able to send out any invitation without entering the email address of the recipient. You can, of course, appeal to have the restriction lifted by sending a sincere message to LinkedIn Customer Service explaining that you did not know what you were doing and that you will *never* again send out an invitation to someone you don't know.

By the way, even when you use the "withdraw" feature the invitation is *not* recovered for future use. It is gone forever.

Also, Jenae is absolutely right in saying LinkedIn Customer Service can "withdraw" the invitations for you, but bear in mind they won't get to the task for a week to ten (10) days, which is plenty of time for even more people to respond by clicking on the "I Don't Know" link or otherwise causing you embarrassment and/or aggregation.

The real problem with the "open your email address book" feature is works the exact opposite of how people expect it to work and LinkedIn gives the member no opportunity to see what is about to happen.
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    Markku Heikkilä Apr 22 '13 at 08:39 AM
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    I totally agree on this. This so called "See Who You Know" tool is so badly designed. It can cause you to send a mass e-mail just by clicking one button without showing to who you actually are sending these e-mails.

    I just accidentally sent a spam e-mail to over 200 e-mail addresses and I consider myself an IS professional. Should I feel embarrassed for my mistake. Sure, but not because I wanted to keep in contact with some people.

    Those who join my network, welcome!
    Everyone, be careful what button you push!
    Shame on the bad design of LinkedIn!
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      Vincent Becquiot Jan 01 at 08:40 PM
      It's not bad design, they know exactly what they are doing. It's designed to make you click on it.

      It's unethical at best.
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      Robin Wagner May 20 '13 at 05:29 PM
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      LinkedIn should also have an opt out area, so that people who have you in their address book can't SPAM you.... This tactic is very unprofessional . Fortunately I didn't click that button, but many people I know did and I get tons of emails from LinkedIn asking is I want to connect to people NOT in my industry at all.
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        Barbro Eide Jun 26 '13 at 02:02 AM
        Yes they should.
        I clicked that button, and hundreds of invitations have been sent out in my name... including connections it has taken me time, planning and desperation to get out of my life.
        Also my worst enemy, and some people I have done everything to reject because og rotten behaviour, and my ex,and the whole list of members of a group I administered for a political party, has got invitations. And politicians in high positions I would hardly even dare to speak to, including three ministers in departments. It's so extremely embarrassing, and it has really spoiled a lot of respect for me. Its near to catastrophic. How I can ever mend this I don't know. I am shocked that a proffesional network like this can have this policy; one wrong click and one has lost years of work in personal relations.
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        George Bullock Apr 15 '13 at 06:17 PM
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        OMG, why did I ever accept a LinkedIn invitation? Everyone in our entire company is being spammed by dozens of LinkedIn invitations. Is this the future of LinkedIn? SPAM? This is no way to do business. You do not provide a way to give control to the user with regard to sending invitations?

        HINT: LinkedIn is generating a negative perception for itself using this rather aggressive tactic. Sure, the user base is expanding (by forced invasion), but how many people are using the messaging systems and how much activity is taking place between the members who have accepted these? Im sure you have the metrics.
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          George Bullock May 20 '13 at 05:39 PM
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          Why isnt LinkedIn listening? Why would anyone want LinkedIn to go into their address book and send invites to everyone in it? Why does LinkedIn assume that people want everyone they know wants to be a part of LinkedIn? The solution is simple:

          Make each person's membership here something they have control over. The default setting for joining or doing anything here should not be "Please rummage through my address books and send an invitation to everyone". It is a HUGE turn off and will hurt LinkedIn (it has hurt them already).

          LinkedIn has become the "OMG, I hate that place, they spam you" thing of late. Aggressive social networking is as effective as the hard sell approach to marketing. That is not a good thing.
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            Peter Mash May 29 '13 at 11:15 PM
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            This just happened to me while I was using LinkedIn on a mobile device. Very unhappy about this- it has caused a huge amount of embarrassment and resentment towards LinkedIn from my contacts who are complaining about unwanted reminders. What a shambles. How on earth can LinkedIn justify a 'single click' to open your whole address book up to LinkedIn? This is careless interface design at best, and deceptive at worst.

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              Peter Mash May 29 '13 at 11:23 PM
              Open letter to LinkedIn:

              Dear LinkedIn

              During use of your website, I must have clicked on "see who you know" without realising you would take the whole of my address book and spam my contacts. Very embarrassing for me, even more embarrassing for you as the level of resentment I am receiving about this practice from my contacts is overwhelming.

              Please can you withdraw any and all pending invitations from my account.

              This mode of operation, whether it is a design flaw (please don't patronise me by any 'small print' nonsense - I was using a mobile device) or something more cunning, is an absolute disgrace and will no doubt cause LinkedIn more harm than good.
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              Jenae Kaska Moderator Mar 05 '13 at 04:41 PM
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              Hi David. It sounds like you had entered your email/email password information into the "See Who You Know" tool. You can withdraw the invites individually if you'd like or we can mass withdraw any pending invitations for you. Please contact us here if you'd like us to help: https://help.linkedin.com/app/ask/path/
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                James Honey May 24 '13 at 07:56 PM
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                I absolutely KNOW I did not give LinkedIn permission to jump in my address book but they did it ANYWAY! I am between professions right now, in school, and have NO DESIRE OR REASON TO SEND OUT LinkedIn invitations.
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                  James Honey Jun 09 '13 at 12:53 PM
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                  I am ABSOLUTELY CONVINCED that they are sneaking in our contact lists without permission. MAAAAAYBE they are DISINGENUOUSLY AND DECEPTIVELY MISLABELING a button and making it look innocuous (i.e., calling it anything BUT the proper name of, "Let me SPAM your email contact list," but at the end of the day, it is NO DIFFERENT than surreptitiously sneaking in the back door to your contact list and scraping it out to use for SPAM.

                  NO DIFFERENT.
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                    Cole Ely Sep 16 '13 at 09:48 PM
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                    It seems the smart option might just be to delete the account
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