A few times a week, I’ll log in to Linkedin to create a post on our business profile. Yesterday, I saw something strange. A random person, whom Mark or I have never met or had any contact with before, claimed he was working at Wicky Design as a graphic designer. We have no idea who this person is or how he found us.
We are very transparent that it is only the two of us working here, so we were pretty upset and confused as to why someone would be claiming to work for us. We obviously wanted to get the person removed from our company profile and tried to go through the steps of reporting it to Linkedin. That’s when we ran into problems.
When we tried to click on this person’s profile, neither Mark or I could do anything. Linkedin wouldn’t allow us to see his profile because he wasn’t in our networks. (Yet, he was able to say he worked for us, how odd.) We were frustrated because we now had to spend time figuring out what to do and didn’t understand how something like this could happen in the first place.
After doing some searches and contacting Linkedin support, we realized that this is happening to a lot of people. Linkedin has received several complaints about this. One guy claimed that 500 people have claimed to work for his company when in reality he has a staff of 25 people! We can only imagine how frustrating this is for him.
The Response from Linkedin
As expected, we received a canned response from Linkedin support:
Thanks for contacting us.
We’re notifying the alleged infringer that the content will be removed within 14 days, unless we receive a valif Counter-notice. If a valid Counter-notice form is submitted, we’ll let you know.
We’re treating your claim seriously and as a result, it may take some time to process it,
Please be aware that although our claim process is designed to help you to the best of our ability, Linkedin is not in a position to resolve legal disputes between third parties.
Member Safety and Recovery Consultant.
Linkedin is giving this person 14 days to respond. The best thing that could happen is that he doesn’t respond to this and they remove him from our page. But he could say that he does work for us, leaving his profile on our page. Also, there is no stopping other people from doing the same thing, as Linkedin claims they do not have control over “user-generated” content.
How this hurts small business owners
This problem on Linkedin is hurting our reputation and the reputation of other legitimate small business owners. The fact that we are a husband and wife team that doesn’t outsource our work is a significant part of our branding. If someone went to our Linkedin company page today, they would see something different. On top of that, in this user’s profile picture, he is giving the middle finger to the camera.
An easy solution that Linkedin could implement to solve this problem would be to only allow administrators of a company page to post content to that page. If someone tries to post content to a page, or claim that they work for a company, the page admin should be notified and approve the content before it posts.
This seems like an easy solution, but it doesn’t seem like Linkedin has any interest in changing their platform. In a world full of “fake news”, it’s crazy to us that they aren’t taking these fake profiles seriously. If they want people to continue using their platform, they need to make it so this type of thing doesn’t continue to happen.
We will wait to hear from Linkedin and see what happens, but in the meantime, this reinforces a point that we always talk about: Focus more on your website and less on social platforms.
We finally have an update to the fake employee on our LinkedIn business page!
It took LinkedIn 28 days to remove this fake employee from our business business page.
This incident with Linkedin proves that we have little control over what happens on our social media profiles. At any point, they can change the algorithm, change the platform, or have spam getting in the way of the work you’re doing.
Focus on what you do have control over – your website. You have full control over what is on your website and don’t have to worry about algorithm or platform changes preventing people from seeing your content. Your website is the best place to connect with customers and let them know what you’re all about.
Need help getting your website on point? Contact us today.