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Sam Bailey Dec 14 '13 at 10:05 AM
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Campaign Against ANONYMOUS Browsing
http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=6577480

Group Summary:
LinkedIn allows Anonymous browsing. Members of this Group advocate for the ability to block Anonymous browsers. We deserve the ability to prevent Anonymous browsers from viewing our Profiles!

Join this group if you want to control who views your Profile on LinkedIn. If you do nothing - nothing will change.
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    Radha Ramanathan Jan 02 at 01:59 PM
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    @ Bernard - You cannot definitively say that all anonymous viewers of a profile are recruiters when every LI member (premium and free account holders) can view profiles anonymously. I think it's a fiction that LI has created to allay the legitimate concerns many LI members have about being "stalked" or spied on by professional and personal rivals.

    I see no value in being notified that an anonymous member viewed my profile. What am I to do with that info? I can't network with them and I will not buy into this fiction that it's a recruiter who is interested in me.

    Quite frankly, if Recruiters want to view profiles anonymously, that's fine. LI can create a special identifier for recruiters that only reveals they are recruiters and nothing else. Then, I would know that my profile is garnering attention from the "right" people. That is helpful for me to know as a job seeker. Presently, we are all left wondering about who these people really are. Are they recruiters? One of my own connections? A disgruntled colleague? A former romantic partner? A stalker? My current employer making sure I'm not leaving my job? A professional rival? Lead generations? Data miners?

    What purpose does this serve? It makes many of us feel anxious and annoyed and gives false hope that Recruiters out there are considering us for a dream job. Allowing us to block anon viewers is a reasonable solution in my opinion.




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      Sam Bailey Jan 02 at 05:45 PM
      @Radha, you are 100% correct. Some of these "explanations" are hot air spouted by individuals pretending to know more than they really do, misinformed speculation or cynical disinformation. I quote below directly from a member of our anti-anonymous viewing LinkedIn campaign group who has thoroughly researched the topic:

      "Anonymous Browsing is *not* a paid feature on LinkedIn.....The simple fact is, the existence of Anonymous Browsing generates additional Premium account upgrade revenue for LinkedIn. The system works simply because a commercially significant proportion of LinkedIn members who use the free service are consistently misled into believing that upgrading their accounts will reveal the identities of their anonymous viewers. When they do upgrade and find that anonymous viewers remain hidden, some weigh up the additional features of a premium account and opt to maintain their paid subscriptions to it, increasing LinkedIn's subscriptions revenue. Even amongst those who cancel their subscriptions and revert to the free service in disappointment, a significant proportion forget to cancel the subscription before the first or next month's payment is triggered, thereby further increasing LinkedIn's subscriptions revenue.

      An additional source of increased revenue comes from lower and middle tier Premium Account holders who are misled into believing that higher tariff Premium Accounts will both unlock the identities of anonymous viewers and also circumvent the privacy restrictions on individual profiles......However, regardless of the status of one's account, anonymous viewers of one's profile continue to remain anonymous and profile data blocked by the privacy settings of individual profiles continues to remain blocked unless unblocked by the owner of the profile.

      ....I believe this quest for additional subscriptions revenue to be the sole driver of LinkedIn's adherence to the Anonymous Browsing function – the wilful miss-selling of LinkedIn Premium Accounts"
      Charles Caro Jan 03 at 12:40 AM
      @Radha - You should read Bernard's posted answer again. He said, "many of the anonymous ones are recruiters". The mere act of viewing a profile can never be seen as "stalking" anymore than the mere act of doing a Google/Bing search and clicking on one or more links included in the search results.

      At any rate with LinkedIn all LinkedIn members, regardless of their subscription level, get an indicator of just how frequently their profile is coming up in searches and how frequently another member clicks through to view the profile. Bear in mind the individual LinkedIn member still has complete control over what, if anything, an "out-of-network" LinkedIn member sees of their profile.
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      Charles Caro Sep 06 '13 at 05:35 PM
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      The policy is to show recent views of a member's profile. Of course, LinkedIn has absolutely no way of predicting who will view a member profile, which means LinkedIn cannot be faulted simply because the five (5) most recent views might be from LinkedIn members choosing to set the privacy level to be "anonymous".

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        Margaret A Ost Sep 06 '13 at 11:18 PM
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        It is a rolling five people, so if you look frequently enough, you will see ALL!
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          Bernard Gore Sep 08 '13 at 07:57 PM
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          It shows that there is a general interest in your profile - many of the anonymous ones are recruiters, so it is actually quite valuable to someone seeking a job to see if they are attracting some attention, especially if they have updated their profile and get more such views (or, coversely, get much less so know to undo whatever they just did).
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            Andy Nichols Oct 11 at 09:33 PM
            How do you know they are recruiters? What about people who create second accounts to go around being blocked?
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            Sam Bailey Jan 03 at 01:48 AM
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            As previously stated, there is a lot of hot air mixed with pure speculation masquerading as "fact" and "expertise" here in the LI Help Center/Answer Hub.

            LI's somewhat cynical commercial calculation appears to be that the distress and anguish caused to susceptible LI members with just cause for concerns about domestic abuse, stalking, cyberbullying, intimidation, illicit snooping or identity theft but who need their LI accounts for work or career reasons, is a price worth paying in order to boost LI's subscriptions revenue.

            The (otherwise entirely useless) "A LinkedIn member has viewed your profile but has chosen to remain anonymous" notifications that LI members routinely receive, serve no other purpose than to drive out of view the identifiable profile views in the short default list of 5 viewers visible in the viewing history of free accounts. The predictable human urge to see beyond the 5 profiles on default view tempts some members into opting for premium services (premium account holders get to see 25 or more past profile views over 90 days of viewing history).

            As stated, anonymous browsing is a product of LI's seemingly deliberate opacity in marketing its paid services. If you scan the LI Help Center/AnswerHub threads on the subject of anonymous views, you will notice a significant number of LI members who report having been misled into opting for paid services, thinking this would enable them to identify the anonymous viewers of their profiles, only to be sorely disappointed. Also note the opaque phrasing in LI's sales pitches of Premium Business, Sales and Recruiter accounts constantly touted by LI. Again, the wording gives the impression that the services packages of paid services unlock access to more LI profiles than they actually can.
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              Radha Ramanathan Jan 03 at 01:54 AM
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              I wrote a reply to Charles' post and I must have inadvertently deleted it.

              I don't have anything new to add to this subject. I stand by my original post. I do not see the point of anonymous and semi-anonymous browsing on a professional networking site. If LI wants to have this feature, then members should have the option of blocking viewers who browse anonymously as well as those who are using LI for less than honorable purposes.
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                Sam Bailey Jan 10 at 08:02 AM
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                Cheryl S.

                16 hours ago

                "Just cancelled my premium membership."

                Campaign Against Anonymous Browsing and an Opt Out or Blocking Function in LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=6577480

                Group Summary: LinkedIn currently allows Anonymous Browsing. Members of this Group advocate for the ability to block or opt out of the attentions of Anonymous Browsers. We deserve the ability to prevent Anonymous browsers from viewing our Profiles.

                Please join this group if you want more control over how people can view your profile. If you do nothing - nothing will change.
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                  Grace Akukwe Oct 11 at 01:04 AM
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                  Dear LinkedIn,
                  I really appreciate the service you offer in virtually connecting professionals across the world, similar communities, different sectors etc but I vehemently object to anonymous people viewing profiles – especially mine. You state in your policy guidelines that we cannot force people to reveal their names and that’s fine but why should these people have a right to remain anonymous while I do not have the same right to block them from viewing my profile because they choose to be unnamed? There are internet trolls and stalkers who use this option for their sick pleasure and you are just facilitating their titillation. I know this because I had to advise an individual to desist from visiting my profile page. She isn’t a recruiter; we don’t share any common groups; she isn’t a person with whom I have any personal or professional business; and I know for a fact that her only reason for visiting my profile was due to her perverse fascination with me and my life. The worst part of it is YOU granted her access.

                  If recruiters want to remain anonymous they should have a corporate account that is verified and identifies them as a recruiter. I assume recruiters are already paying a premium for that service so should be given that preference. Anyone else who is not a recruiter should not be allowed to view others’ profiles anonymously and if LinkedIn insists on providing that service you should offer the option to all users to block anonymous viewers who do not identify as recruiters. This is a professional network of people who want to connect with others with similar professional interests or may be potential employees -not a platform for voyeurs.

                  Secondly, I object to you notifying my LinkedIn contacts of my birthday. True, some of them are personal friends but all the information I need to know about my professional connections is what is presented on their profile page. Providing connections with information (such as my birth date) that I have not authorized you to share is truly overstepping your boundaries of what you should share on my behalf.

                  I respectfully request that you consider my points very carefully. I understand that this is social media but there is a distinction between Facebook and LinkedIn – one that those of us who wish to separate business associates from family and friends would like to keep. Thank you for a great service.


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                    Charles Caro Oct 11 at 02:03 AM
                    @Grace - It is totally appropriate for all members to be held to the same "Terms of Service". What you describe would treat one group of LinkedIn members as 2nd class members of LinkedIn even though they might be paying a substantial subscription fee.

                    Each LinkedIn member has the ability to set their own privacy level according to their needs. Just because most LinkedIn members opt to allow their name be seen by other members is no cause to trample the rights of others opting to be private about their name.
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                    Grace Akukwe Oct 11 at 04:17 AM
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                    Thanks, Charles. We all have the choice not to use LinkedIn. We choose to use it because we want people in our professional community to reach us, to know us professionally etc.

                    I simply want the option to share my profile with people who are willing to reciprocate and block those who don't. That is fair to everyone.

                    Using an analogy - my profile is my house. If I am welcome in your house, you are welcome in mine. But if you lock the door to your house but expect to enter my house freely, in disguise, unannounced, whenever you want, and under the guise of whatever reasons known only to you- we have a problem.
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                      Charles Caro Oct 11 at 05:50 PM
                      @Grace - Using your house analogy all LinkedIn members live in a gated community, but anybody living in the neighborhood where any of the other folks living in the neighborhood can drive by the house belonging to others living in the neighborhood. Some of the folks living in the neighborhood have convertibles, which allows anybody to see inside the vehicle as they drive by, while other have SUVs with dark tinted windows, which don't allow anybody to see who is in the vehicle. When someone living in the neighborhood puts out an "Open House" sign anybody can come into their house, but for those not opting to put out an open house sign nobody gets to go inside the house. When somebody living in the neighborhood has a close friend they establish a 1st level connection, but in the LinkedIn neighborhood our 1st level friends also bring along their other 1st level friends and their own set of friends.
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